March 14, 2006


Dems' hold on blacks is slipping: African American candidates in '06 are impressive (Deroy Murdock, March 12, 2006, SF Chronicle)

They all should promote free-market ideas that have helped, and will help, blacks voters, and remind them how Democrats routinely say, "No!" to such reforms.

On taxes, for instance, Bush has reduced them every year in office, always over Democratic objections. The result? The economy grew 3.5 percent last year despite the war on terror, sky-high oil prices, and hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. For those with lower incomes, the bottom tax rate is now 10 percent rather than 15 percent. Meanwhile, higher-level tax-rate reductions leave more money in black middle-class pockets.

The national unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, its lowest level since July 2001. The bad news is that black unemployment is 8.9 percent. The good news is that it is down from a 10 percent average under President Clinton.

Meanwhile, with white unemployment at 4.1 percent, there is a 4.8 percent gap between white and black joblessness. That gap averaged 5.5 percent under President Clinton and 6.9 percent over the last 30 years. So, despite howls of Democratic protests, Bush's tax cuts have helped create the best black employment picture in a generation.

On Social Security, Bush tried to bridge The Dividend Divide, the nearly 11-1 asset-ownership gap between white and black households. Voluntary personal retirement accounts would let black individuals and families build nest eggs and bequeath them to their loved ones. This is excellent for black males who, on average, die at age 67.8 after collecting from Social Security for less than a year, while average white males enjoy seven years of benefits. Bush's proposed accounts offered an alternative to this mess, but Democrats wailed, and his plan died of rejection.

On education, Clinton vetoed a voucher program for students in Washington's dismal, predominantly black government school system -- twice. Bush, in contrast, signed that bill into law.

Imagine what would happen if the 2008 Republican presidential nominee could campaign on these issues in inner-city Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia with fellow Republicans who have been elected statewide and also happen to be black.

Even better, make the O'Neill plan the central plank of the GOP Congressional campaign this year.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 14, 2006 2:25 PM
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