Dear White America…

donald-trump

By: M. K. Williams

… is actually a book.  Yes, seriously. There is a book titled Dear White America and the author’s name is Tim Wise.

I reluctantly picked it up at a Barnes and Noble that was going out of business a few years ago.  I initially thought that it was another “angry black person” book, yelling at white people (which is probably what you’re thinking this article is right now).  But I went ahead and picked it up anyway.  My mental shelves were already packed with a wealth of non-fictional information that could inspire me to yell at all the white people I wanted to my own dang self.  That particular day I didn’t need anybody else yelling the same thing that I could have been yelling at white folks for.

To my utter disbelief, a young looking white man appeared inside the book’s back cover. I couldn’t even claim him as lightskinned.  This man was straight up white.  So I checked to make sure that I picked up the right book, but it still said Dear White America.  When I decided to catch the book being tricky, I read a few pages.  The next thing I remember was that the receipt functioned as my bookmark while I consumed the first 3 chapters sitting in my parked car.

I’ve since followed Wise’s growing influence.  From videos of lectures and panel discussions to appearances on CNN, Wise is one of the boldest white men I have ever heard speak the raw truth about the American mindset.

The only way that I can describe Tim Wise is to ask you to imagine that a black nobel laureate rode a time machine back to the 60’s, got filled with the holy ghost in Nashville, Tennessee, then had his brain squeezed into Wise as a toddler – who apparently has been walking around with it ever since.  Believe me. 

Which brings us now to Donald Trump.  If you’re not wealthy and are even thinking about voting for Donald Trump – don’t let that man make a fool out of you.

You obviously have good sense if you can sit through reading this.  I’m not trying to be funny this time.  You are interested in varying views and I can bet, you’re the type of person that believes in due diligence.  It doesn’t hurt that you also A) read beyond a fourth grade level – which our failing public school systems say is a major accomplishment in this country;  B)  seek out facts TO read which; C) demonstrates that you don’t blindly follow the crowd.  It’s the same innate intelligence that’s been giving you pause over and over again about Donald Trump.

I don’t know if you’re tired of establishment politics or if you agree that the economy is a hot mess.  I don’t even care if you’re just sick and tired of not getting to see white people everywhere you go.  Some things and people can’t  be wished away if we tried, and trust me, I’ve tried.

I’m keeping it real with you and hope that you can too.  Regardless of how your search has landed you on this page, it doesn’t matter as long as you remember this –  Donald Trump and the republican agenda is NOT the answer to improve the quality of your life or that of the “middle class”.

Thanks to the heartless, dog-eat-dog business practices  of this country’s largest corporations / employers, THERE IS NO middle class majority anymore.  There are the poor, the working poor, the small group of folks who are clinging on to high paying jobs or nest eggs that they earned or inherited, and then of course there are the wealthy.

By the way, the same greed driven cut-throat business tactics mentioned above are exactly what Donald Trump is famous for.

The comfortable job stability of an abundantly thriving middle class has gone bye-bye. From the working poor to the “middle class”, everyone  is constantly watching their back, praying that they don’t lose their jobs or nest eggs.  Those with the latter are constantly trying to find ways to hold on to their money, which lands many on Wall Street’s front porch of volatility.  Both know that they’re one month’s earnings away from a potential financial catastrophe.  We watched as major corporate facilities closed down.  We read and lived through countless layoffs and furloughs across the country.  To add insult to injury we saw in three decades time, hundreds of the nation’s largest corporations pull branches of their operations completely OUT of the country while eagerly GIVING OUR OLD JOBS AWAY to people overseas.

What is not as easy to see is how the wealthy have been playing the majority of Americans like a fiddle.  President L.B. Johnson advised his White House Aid, Bill Moyers in 1960,

“I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it,” he said. “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”  L.B. Johnson to White House Aid, William Moyers  

W1-17

Tell me this – how in God’s good name are Mexicans (and the silent nod including black folks for that matter) responsible for the fact that 10% of people in this country, WHOM ARE PRIMARILY WHITE, earn an average of 9 times more than the entire remaining 90% do?  There aren’t enough illegal immigrants in the world that could pull off such a coup against the United States.   And how are illegal immigrants supposed to take over the country when so many are busy doing work that we’re either too lazy or unskilled to do?

There’s only one way to pull this old trick off: To exploit the majority..regardless of color, gender or faith.  First tactic: don’t let the majority get along with one another.  If they do, they will unite and take over.  To do this, the power structure must create theories and practices to wedge a division between them.  To effectively do this, there must some form of “reward system” for one group while imposing a “penalty” for another. Sound familiar?  It should. Poor whites and slaves were getting along just fine in America back in the day.  While slaves were being beaten and killed into destitution, poor whites just had no other choice.  For neither could read or write, so both had to do the same manual labor to eat.  So, when the wealthy/educated class saw these folks uniting and having babies and parties and rebellions, they knew they had to do something quick.   So, they offered poor whites land and a small taste of power in the form of jobs…as “overseers” of slaves.  Division complete  The rest is history.

(A great lesson about power by former Parliament member, Tony Benn)

If you’re super rich and back Trump, I can almost understand because you probably want to stay super rich and get even richer – regardless if you’re democrat, republican, green, purple, or independent.  I would imagine that you think Trump will definitely protect your interests because you have money.  However, this fundamental question remains:  Why should 90 % of us suffer to make you rich?

I don’t know about you, but I believe Trump could care less if half the planet had to drop dead in order for him to stay rich.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think that he would care if half of us got blown off the map by a Putin or North Korean nuclear attack judging by the way he talks.

I digress.

Let’s take a look at  the striking comparison between the Great Depression leading into the 1930’s and the Great Recession of the early 2000’s.

1.  In 1928 and 2007 the earnings of those who made the highest 10% peaked.  Also during those years, this same group paid historically low tax rates.

2.  The stock market crashed in 1929 ushering in the Great Depression.  The most devastating Recession since the Great Depression tore in with a crash in 2008.

When the largest share of the country’s money stays in the hands of a few, the many can’t afford to buy goods and services.  Without enough money, the companies who employ people to provide goods and services can no longer afford to pay them.  Wala! The companies cut jobs or worse, go out of business like those which brought lawsuits against Donald Trump.

Don’t just take my word about it.  See the hard facts below from the Economic Policy Institute  (their text is in blue).  You can find my recommendations in the conclusion.

 

Income Inequality

Download Chart PackIncome includes the revenue streams from wages, salaries, interest on a savings account, dividends from shares of stock, rent, and profits from selling something for more than you paid for it. Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for some 30 years.

Household and Family Income

Source: Emmanuel Saez, Center for Equitable Growth, June 2015

Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average nearly nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 38 times more income than the bottom 90 percent. But that gap pales in comparison to the divide between the nation’s top 0.1 percent and everyone else. Americans at this lofty level are taking in over 184 times the income of the bottom 90 percent.

 

Source: Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States, Emmanuel Saez, June 2015

 

The top 1 percent of America’s income earners have more than doubled their share of the nation’s income since the middle of the 20th century. American top 1 percent incomes peaked in the late 1920s, right before the onset of the Great Depression.

 

Source: Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States, Emmanuel Saez, June 2015

 

Inequality in America is growing, even at the top. The nation’s highest 0.1 percent of income-earners have, over recent decades, seen their incomes rise much faster than the rest of the top 1 percent. Incomes in this top 0.1 percent increased 7.5 times between 1973 and 2007, from 0.8 percent to an all-time high of 6 percent. The Great Recession in 2008 did dampen this top 0.1 percent share, but only momentarily. The upward surge of the top 0.1 percent has resumed.

 

Source: Statistics of Income Division, Research, Anlaysis and Statistics, Internal Revenue Service, Table 1, December 2015

 

The 1990s saw the annual incomes of the ultra rich explode in size. Between 1992 and 2002, the 400 highest incomes reported to the Internal Revenue Service more than doubled, even after the collapse of the dot.com bubble in 2000. In the early 21st century, the economic boom driven by the real estate bubble would more than triple top 400 average incomes before the 2008 economic collapse.

 

 

High levels of income concentration are pervasive across the country, but there are important differences among states. Connecticut has the highest threshold for entry into the top 1 percent. At least $677,608 in annual income is needed to be a member of this elite group in that state. That’s three times the minimum needed to be among the top 1 percent in bottom-ranking Arkansas. (place cursor on each state for detailed data)

 

Sources: Household income shares for the 0-99 percent, U.S. Census Bureau. Top 1 percent data, the World Top Incomes Database. Analysis by NPR, January 2015

 

Before the 1980s, lower-income earners owned a far larger portion of total U.S. income than they do today. How much more income would these earners be making today if the United States had the same distribution of income as the nation displayed in 1979? NPR found that Americans would experience income increases of at least $3,000 across all quintile levels, with the highest quintile owed an additional $17,311. The top 1 percent of earners would see a dramatic fall in their income, losing more than just $824,844.

 

Source: Congressional Budget Office, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, Table 3, November 2014

 

The Congressional Budget Office defines before-tax income as “market income plus government transfers,” or, quite simply, how much income a person makes counting government social assistance. Analysts have a number of ways to define income. But they all tell the same story: The top 1 percent of U.S. earners take home a disproportionate amount of income compared to even the nation’s highest fifth of earners.

 

Source: Congressional Budget Office, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, Figure 11, November 2014

 

Since 1979, the before-tax incomes of the top 1 percent of America’s households have increased more than four times faster than bottom 20 percent incomes.

 

Source: Congressional Budget Office, The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, Figure 13, November 2014

 

The Congressional Budget Office defines after-tax income as “before-tax income minus federal taxes.” After taxes, top 1 percent incomes are increasing even faster than before taxes. Before-tax income growth for the top 1 percent has averaged 174.5 percent since 1979. The after-tax increase: 200.2 percent. A progressive tax system should function to narrow income gaps between the affluent and everyone else. Over recent decades, America’s tax system has done no narrowing.

 

CEO Pay

Source: Institute for Policy Studies and AFL-CIO analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics average hourly earnings data and corporate proxy statements, 2015

 

In the United States today, unions have a much smaller economic presence than they did decades ago. With unions playing a smaller economic role, the gap between worker and CEO pay was nine times larger in 2013 than in 1980.

 

Wages

Source: A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between, Spotlight on Statistics, Page 2, U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015

 

Wages in the United States, after taking inflation into account, have been stagnating for more than three decades. Typical American workers and the nation’s lowest-wage workers have seen little or no growth in their real weekly wages.

 

Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Kopczuk, Saez and Song (2010) and Social Security Administration wage statistics, November 2015

 

Between 1979 and 2007, paycheck income of the top 1 percent of U.S. earners exploded by over 256 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent of earners have seen little change in their average income, with just a 16.7 percent increase from 1979 to 2014.

 

Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data, January 2015

 

Productivity has increased at a relatively consistent rate since 1948. But the wages of American workers have not, since the 1970s, kept up with this rising productivity. Worker hourly compensation has flat-lined since the mid-1970s, increasing just 15.5 percent from 1979 to 2013, while worker productivity has increased 132.8 percent over the same time period.

 

Source: Economic Policy Institute analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data, January 2015

Nobody has to be an economist to see what’s right in from of their faces.  Greed at the top has sucked a lion’s share of money directly away from the majority and into their own pockets.  And the top earners in this country WANT the majority of Americans to remain broke and dumb so that they can continue to rob us blind.

The top 10% of earners are the very ones who are making the corporate decisions to slash thousands of American jobs at a time with a stroke of a pen which represent billions in American wages . They then hire cheaper employees abroad. Despite popular belief, overseas employees are NOT just laborers in the manufacturing sector. They are also giving our jobs to cheaper highly skilled professionals ranging from engineers and scientists to construction workers and MBA’s. 

To slap a “STUPID” sticker on the brows of Americans, they promote a big fat lie that of all people – it’s the Mexicans who are taking over.  Then, they get all the stupid-sticker folks riled up to VOLUNTARILY pay for a 2,000 mile long x 30 feet high  Trump billboard.

whyivoterepublican

If you’re not rich and are looking to improve your quality of life i.e.,. the very possibility of higher wages, lower taxes, and guaranteed healthcare in the event that you get ill, vote for Hillary Clinton.  On the other hand, if you want to lose any chance of keeping affordable/ guaranteed healthcare as you continue to work at a job which pays you less than you made 10, 15, and even 20 years ago,  while watching the  rich pay less in taxes than you do – vote for Donald Trump.  That’s just the bottom line.  Check their records.  Oh, Darnit!  I almost forgot…one won’t release them.

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8 Rich People Who Won’t Leave a Fortune to their Kids

5 Wealthy Families Who Lost Their Fortunes | Bankrate.com.

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New Congressional Black Caucus Chairman: ‘Black America Is in a State of Emergency’ – CQ

By Matt Fuller Posted at noon Feb. 23

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Butterfield said the Congressional Black Caucus needs to become “more aggressive.” (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

The Congressional Black Caucus is still getting up and running for the 114th Congress — it announced its staff Monday — but its new chairman sees an urgency for an organization that has long been known to represent the interests of minorities and the poor.

“We have a traditional role and that is to be the conscience of the Congress,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., told CQ Roll Call on Feb. 20. “We’ve been using ‘conscience of the Congress’ as our brand, if you will, since our founding. But we’ve got to do more than that because black America is in a state of emergency right now.”

Butterfield noted that 1 in 4 black families — and 1 in 3 black children — live in poverty, while the unemployment rate for African-Americans is roughly double that for whites.

“We cannot continue down this path,” the North Carolina Democrat said. “We have to be assertive. We have to be more aggressive.”

Asked about the Democratic Party’s new messaging focus on the middle class, Butterfield said that was a concern he had raised with Democratic leadership.

“We cannot forget that so many of our families are not middle class,” he said.

That new focus — obsession almost — on the middle class has many in the CBC concerned that their constituencies may be left behind.

During the Democratic retreat in Philadelphia at the end of January, Butterfield’s predecessor at the CBC, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, told CQ Roll Call she had some apprehension about the party’s new message.

“I’ve always said that, as a party, we don’t talk enough about the poor,” Fudge said. “I do believe we need to talk more about how we lift people out of poverty.”

Fudge added that, while the middle class is important, she wouldn’t call it the middle class. “You’re talking about working families. I don’t believe in classes,” she said. “But I certainly do believe that we need to spend some time and attention on getting people out of poverty.”

That was a message Butterfield seemed to echo on Friday.

“I think most Americans would want to provide a safety net for those in poverty,” Butterfield said. “I think most Americans want to support their communities.”

Butterfield said that meant not cutting food stamps — “food security leads to national security” — and he mentioned raising the minimum wage. Butterfield praised Wal-Mart’s recent decision to bring their minimum wage to $10 per hour, saying he hoped other sectors of the economy would follow suit, and he noted that the economy’s recovery had not touched many Americans.

“So many people that we represent have been left behind,” Butterfield said.

On the topic of his new staff, Butterfield said he wished he had 16 staff members for the CBC, not just four. He noted that before Newt Gingrich became speaker in 1994, caucuses used to receive public funding for staff. Now individual members contribute money to individual organizations to pay personnel salary.

While Butterfield said it would be nice if congressional leaders made changes to how caucuses were funded — “and I know some Republicans who feel the same way” — he said that was not “foremost” on the CBC agenda.

“We can make it with the budget we have,” he said. “We could do more if we had more.”

Overall, Butterfield said his vision for the CBC was one of working with other Democratic caucuses — such as the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — and with Republicans. He specifically cited a criminal justice overhaul as an area of common ground with Republicans.

Butterfield also said he wanted to work with the White House to redirect federal dollars into what he called “persistent poverty communities.”

“We’ve got to become very active, and we’ve got to have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies,” he said. “Only our interests are permanent.”

Related:

Democrats Unite Around Middle-Class Message, Israel Says

New Congressional Black Caucus Staffers Announced

CBC Rallies to Defend Brown, Democrats’ Seniority System

CBC Members Call for Full DOJ Investigation Into Ferguson Shooting (Updated)

CBC Chastises Ryan Remarks on Poverty (Updated)

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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National Urban League on “Selma” and Dr. King

January 15, 2015 View e-mail online.
THIS ISSUE
• ReMARCs  • To Be Equal  • Events  • Financial Empowerment Series 
• Washington Bureau  • Jobs  • Partner Spotlight   • Affiliates
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Opening ReMARCs

With the release and success of the Ava DuVernay-directed and Oscar-nominated film Selma, millions of Americans have been fittingly reacquainted with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – the man, his mission and his message. 

As we mark what would have been his 86th birthday today and prepare to celebrate the 30th national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, I wanted to also focus on the meaning of the King holiday.

In the timeless words of Coretta Scott King:

“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America…

We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn’t enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.

Read more of Coretta Scott King’s reflection here.

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To Be Equal
“The good news is that in 2014 people were increasingly finding jobs. The bad news is that we are still digging our way out of the recession, and wage growth remains stagnant and untouched by recovery.” – Elise Gould, Economic Policy Institute, Senior Economist
More Credit and More Challenges on Jobs for Obama

The country’s most popular monthly economic scorecard was released last week with promising results – and mixed messages.

On Friday, January 9, the Department of Labor released the latest jobs report, which showed that the U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs in December. This surpassed analyst projections of 240,000 and brought the nation’s unemployment rate down to 5.6% – now at its lowest level since 2008 after 11 straight months of job growth.

Overall, the nation’s economy is in its best shape – with consumer confidence at a high – since the 2009 recession, and December marked the best year for the U.S. labor market since 1999. Expectedly, politicians have been quick to take note – and to also attempt to take credit. Before the release of the jobs report, in a pitch for the influence of the new Republican majority in Congress on the nation’s improving economy, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope. The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama Administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

This correlation may be politically expedient, but as it adds to good political theater, it also lacks fair acknowledgment of the actions and policies that have helped contribute to the recovery. With less than a week of legislating under the collective belts of the new Republican majority in Congress, and the track record of its predecessors as the second least productive Congress in modern history, who can take credit for this “glimmer of hope”?

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UPCOMING EVENTS
 

This Weekend: Join NUL Young Professionals for LEAD [YP] Conference

LEAD[YP] Conference
January 15 – 18, 2015
Birmingham, Alabama

Are you a leader in the workplace who seeks additional training to move your career to the next level? Is your business idea ready to be shared with the world? Are you ready to make a career change, but unsure about what’s next for you? Are you a change agent who needs skills to continue to affect change in your community? Are you graduating from college and need a blueprint for your first year out of school? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then the LEAD[YP] conference is for you.

Learn, grow, and network with diverse Millennials and Gen-Xers from across the country as you continue to LEAD in your community. Join the National Urban League Young Professionals in Birmingham, AL on January 15-18 and kick off 2015 with a renewed determination to LEAD!

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Financial Empowerment Series
 
Top New Year’s Resolutions: Lose Weight and Save Money

Whether your 2015 resolution is to save money, lose weight, or both, there is good news. When you resolve to lose weight, you can also grow your savings. In other words, getting fit and healthy is a good way to improve the health of your finances. Initially, one may think that it’s about cutting back on food and, therefore, grocery costs, but improving your health and shaving inches can help you save money in many ways. Check out the 9 ways you can improve your physical and financial health in 2015!

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Washington Bureau

National Urban League Leads Discussion on Reauthorization of ESEA and Joins Coalition in Release of ESEA Principles

Nearly 20 civil rights groups and education advocates released shared civil rights principles for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

In the principles, the groups highlight the important and historic role the federal government has played during the 50 years since the ESEA was originally passed in promoting educational opportunity and protecting the rights and interests of students disadvantaged by discrimination, poverty, and other conditions that may limit their educational attainment. The groups say that this role must be maintained in any bill to reauthorize the ESEA, along with ensuring that each state adopts college and career-ready state standards, aligned statewide annual assessments, and a state accountability system to improve instruction and learning for students in low-performing schools.

The full text of the principles can be found here.

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Register Today – Next Level Resume: How to Leverage Your Best Resume 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST
Webinar

Are you tired of not hearing back from HR recruiters or simply not even getting an automated response when you send your resume? Are you ready to change that – GOOD! The only person in charge of your success is you. If you’re feeling trapped by a job you hate, a bad boss, insulting pay, or all of the above, it’s time you take ownership of your career and create a resume that truly brands YOU. Join us for resume strategies to find out how to get your resume to the top of the list and to the interview. Sandi Webster, Principal at Consultants 2 Go, has helped thousands of people land contract, part-time and full-time positions, and will share how to take your resume and career to the next level. Webinar sponsored by Phillips 66. REGISTER TODAY!

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PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
 
Apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Take ActionSince 2010, the National Urban League (NUL) has served as a national partner of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Through this partnership, our participating Affiliates continue to successfully recruit hundreds of minority businesses to this unique business education program, which also provides access to capital. Benefits to program alumni include increased efficiency in operations; increases in revenue; improvements in daily operations and long-term goals. But, more importantly, these businesses fuel our nation’s economy by creating jobs and adding to the economy in underserved U.S. markets. In 2014, a national cohort was introduced at Babson College in effort to expand the program to businesses in cities where there is not a locally run program.

This phenomenal program has graduated more than 3,500 business owners. NUL and Goldman Sachs know that small businesses are a major contributor to local economies in the US, and therefore, wish to encourage all qualified, eligible business owners to apply. For more information about a program in your city and the national cohort, please visit www.10ksbapply.com for complete information on how to apply and read personal testimonies of alumni.

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Affiliate Newswire
‘Know Your Rights’ Forum Held for Youth in Fort Lauderdale

Broward County youth were encouraged Friday, January 9, to “know your rights” when interacting with law enforcement.

The Urban League of Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) and the National Bar Association conducted the workshop as a response to recent incidents involving law enforcement and members of the minority communities, such as the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Mo., and the Eric Garner case in New York City.

“Our response as an organization is to have an impact on the nation by making sure that members of the African American community and other minority communities know their rights and how to survive police officer and citizen encounters,” said Terry Wiley, chair of the National Bar Associations’ criminal law section.

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What Do You Think
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

How do you plan to spend the day on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 19)?

A. Volunteer or participate in community service activity.

B. Learn about his life and work via books, articles, videos, etc.

C. Visit an MLK memorial site in my town/city.

Vote A Vote B Vote C
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College | TIME

The White House says it could save the average community-college student $3,800 a year

President Obama at the Ford Motor Company's Wayne Assembly

“Put simply, what I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everyone who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a video filmed Wednesday aboard Air Force One and posted to Facebook. He made the announcement as part of his pre–State of the Union tour and will formally lay out the proposal Friday in a speech in Tennessee.

The White House estimated it would save the average community-college student $3,800 annually and said it could benefit 9 million if fully realized.

White House domestic-policy director Cecilia Muñoz said the proposal is a federal-state partnership, with federal funding covering 75% of the tuitions and participating states will be expected to pick up the rest of the tab. Muñoz said legislation would be needed to approve the plan and repeatedly declined to say how much it would cost, saying more details about the funding source would come in the President’s budget for the next fiscal year due next month.

“This is a moment that is equivalent to the moment when we made high school universal,” Muñoz added.

The proposal would undoubtedly face opposition from the new Republican-controlled Congress. Muñoz did not say how the President hoped to pass the legislation through Congress, adding the White House had yet to run it by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

In a statement, Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner, said, “With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan.”

@ZekeJMiller

Updated: Jan. 8, 2015 7:53 PM

Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College | TIME.

Empowerment – National Urban League

  • 10-Point Justice Plan: National Urban League Police Reform and Accountability Recommendations
    10-Point Justice Plan: National Urban League Police Reform and Accountability Recommendations

1 of 4

I pledge to responsibly commit my time and talent to ensure that the nation is empowered to achieve the following goals by 2025:
“Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits”
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“Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions.”
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“Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing on fair terms”
angel_tree_t580.jpg

SUCCESS STORIES

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As a leader on my campus, I have had the opportunity to work with the BEEP Program in 2012 and in 2013 at Hampton University. Interacting with several BEEPers has inspired and influenced me to become…

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Enter your ZIP code to find your nearest National Urban League affiliate.