Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What has Bush's effect on African-Americans really been?

Deroy Murdock tackles the vitriolic race-baiting being hurled at Bush in the wake of Katrina. He begins with some of the worst sound-bites we've all heard. You know, things like this:

“George Bush is our Bull Connor,” Rep. Charles Rangel of New York told cheering Congressional Black Caucus conventioneers on September 22. “If you’re black in this country, and you’re poor in this country, it’s not an inconvenience. It’s a death sentence.” Rangel equated Republican President Bush to Theophilus “Bull” Connor, Birmingham, Alabama’s former segregationist police commissioner who notoriously used attacks dogs and fire hoses to disrupt civil rights marches by Martin Luther King Jr. and other protesters in 1963. As is Rangel, Bull Connor was a Democrat.
All of this sounds a little bit outdated based solely on news of the past week, which showed that the real racial attacks came from the MSM which swallowed, hook, line & sinker, revolting and entirely untrue stories about black on black rape, murder and cannibalism -- something it's doubtful the MSM would have done had the alleged actors not been black. Murdock, though, does something a lot more interesting than pointing to MSM failures. Instead, he gathers facts about how much attention the President really has lavished on African-Americans in New Orleans -- and it turns out to have been a lot.
I asked Heritage Foundation senior policy analyst Kirk Johnson to look at these neighborhoods. While Bush has taken responsibility for Washington’s disjointed first response to Katrina — notwithstanding the 33,544 hurricane survivors who U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and boat crews started saving as soon as winds dropped below 45 MPH — he need not apologize for neglecting the Big Easy’s poor before these hurricanes. Using the Consolidated Federal Funds Report’s latest data, Johnson found that, “Across all federal programs, Orleans Parish received $12,645 per capita in fiscal year 2003. At the same time, the national average was $7,089 per capita. Put another way, New Orleans received 78.4 percent more funding per person than the national average.” Johnson also examined 21 low-income-assistance programs. Among them, inflation-adjusted federal poverty spending in Orleans Parish equaled $5,899 per-poor-person in Bill Clinton’s final, full-fiscal-year 2000 budget. By fiscal 2003, such outlays soared to $10,222. Under Bush, federal anti-poverty spending per-poor-New Orleanian ballooned 73.3 percent, or an average, annual hike of 24.4 percent over three years! Johnson discovered, for instance, that spending on Immunization Grants dropped 80.51 percent, and Supportive Housing for the Elderly fell 25.6 percent during Bush’s first three years. However, Child Support Enforcement grew 8.3 percent. Head Start rose 13.8 percent. Food Stamps increased 43.1 percent. Pell Grants advanced 126 percent. Community Health Center funding accelerated 163.6 percent, and so on. In 1999, under Clinton, Orleans Parish had 135,429 poor people and a 27.9 percent poverty rate. In 2004, under Bush, 102,636 New Orleanians were poor, while the poverty rate eased to 23.2 percent. So, pre-Katrina, the Big Easy’s poverty rate slid 16.8 percent during Bush’s tenure. What was that about the KKK? “If program spending is the way to judge whether or not Washington cares about New Orleans,” Johnson says, “then a lot of love has come to New Orleans in recent years.”
Nothing like a bracing dose of facts to counter some of the ugliest ad hominem attacks I've heard in decades. [Categories: , , , , .]