By Julianne Malveaux
Before the president takes the oath of office for a second time, African Americans should mobilize around these issues:
Unless the Democrats and Republicans can cut a deal during the lame-duck session of Congress, our budget will be cut automatically. While House Speaker John Boehner has softened his tone just a bit and indicated his willingness to compromise, he still has to herd his Tea Party colleagues into also agreeing on ways to avoid sequestration.
The notion of cutting expenditures at a time of slow economic growth makes no sense. Neither does sequestration, a desperate move to avoid a compromise. What do we need to address the deficit? A long-term plan that takes economic cycles into account.
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West spent much of this fall on a poverty tour, rising up the 27 percent of African Americans who live in poverty. This contrasts with the Middle Class Tax Force that President Obama has asked Vice President Biden to lead. It would be great if the president would form a taskforce to reduce or eradicate poverty, and he might do so if he were urged to.
Meanwhile, as the holidays approach, keep the poor in your community in mind, and find a local charity to sponsor.
To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:
Or become an MSR subscriber: