Donna Brazile Points Out How Terrible The Wealth Gap Is For Minorities In America

During the panel discussion on this Sunday's This Week, Donna Brazile got to make a point we don't hear discussed often enough in our corporate media, and that is the horrible level of poverty and the income disparity that minority communities are
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During the panel discussion on this Sunday's This Week, Donna Brazile got to make a point we don't hear discussed often enough in our corporate media, and that is the horrible level of poverty and the income disparity that minority communities are facing in the United States. And when you look at these numbers she pointed to, it's little wonder we've got members of the Congressional Black Caucus like Maxine Waters speaking out after hearing many legitimate complaints from her constituents as we saw this past week.

BRAZILE: When Maxine Waters, who I have enormous respect for, says to members of the black community (inaudible) she's not saying, I want to attack the president. She's saying, look, we want a strategy. We don't want another plan. We know that the Republicans want to prove the president's plan. We want a strategy, a long-term strategy to bring jobs back to the inner cities, black wealth, just -- not because I'm black, but because I'm an American.

But over the last four years, 53 percent of black wealth has just disappeared. The average -- for white families, the median income is $113,000. For black families, $5,000, $5,000. It has dropped.

So these families are hurting. They want help. They want relief. They don't want to hear about Congress. They don't want to hear about the Tea Party. They don't want to hear another plan. They want jobs.

Here's more from a recent article from CBS News with some more details on those numbers -- Wealth gap between whites, minorities widens:

The wealth gaps between whites and minorities have grown to their widest levels in a quarter-century. The recession and uneven recovery have erased decades of minority gains, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, according to an analysis of new Census data.

The analysis shows the racial and ethnic impact of the economic meltdown, which ravaged housing values and sent unemployment soaring. It offers the most direct government evidence yet of the disparity between predominantly younger minorities whose main asset is their home and older whites who are more likely to have 401(k) retirement accounts or other stock holdings. [...]

The median wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Those ratios, roughly 20 to 1 for blacks and 18 to 1 for Hispanics, far exceed the low mark of 7 to 1 for both groups reached in 1995, when the nation's economic expansion lifted many low-income groups to the middle class.

The white-black wealth gap is also the widest since the census began tracking such data in 1984, when the ratio was roughly 12 to 1.

And regardless of the points made during this segment by ABC's Jeff Zeleny that it's unlikely that the Republicans will cooperate with President Obama to get anything passed in the Congress, which is true. And regardless of George Will's whopper on the amount of stimulus spending we've already had and him continually lying that the government can't do anything to improve the economy which I wish she'd pushed back harder on, Brazile's points on some of the other things the president can do were spot on -- like making sure the government spending the Executive Branch does have control over enacts policies that hire Americans.

And as she noted, when you're looking at the severe levels of income disparity we're seeing in minority communities that she described here, the members of those communities and their representatives in the government have every right and obligation to speak out. We can't maintain a democracy in America if we continue to destroy what's left of our middle class and continue to allow that many of our citizens to be living in abject poverty.

Transcript below the fold.

TAPPER: How much do you think -- what are the odds that President Obama is going to be able to introduce something that will pass Congress?

ZELENY: I think the odds are pretty slim, and they realize that, but it's not about getting it passed, necessarily. It's about framing the argument for the fall and, really, into next year. They're trying to draw this distinct line between him and Republicans. But they are looking to him for some kind of solution here.

I think the biggest -- for all the powers of the incumbency, for all the advantages he had as he was rolling through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, one thing that hung over him is reality. That's one thing that didn't -- he didn't have to deal with in 2007 or 2008.

He could say all these things, make all these promises, which he did, but now his own supporters are coming to him with really tough question, looking for relief, not just framing the argument. So I think he has to do more than simply fight with Congress. He has to try and go back again and get something with Speaker Boehner.

But the reality just really confronted him, even in these friendly areas. I mean, imagine how it's going to be when he goes to, you know, some harder places, some counties in Michigan, some counties in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, where he has even more work ahead of him.

WILL: Exactly right. He's going to say if it weren't for Congress, I could spend more money. Now, I'm not sure that is going to be a good selling point. He's going to say that Congress is stopping me from from another stimulus. He is going to say, in fact, that the government is too frugal. These are hard arguments to make, particularly when you consider, in Keynesian terms, we've not just had an $862 billion stimulus. Keynes said deficit spending is a stimulus, so we've had $5 trillion in stimulus in the last three years.

Progressives, who used to be called liberals, want more investment, which used to be called spending. And I don't think that resonates with the country.

TAPPER: Donna, go ahead.

BRAZILE: I'm listening to George, and I'm smiling. The truth of the matter is that the president cannot just simply run against Congress, because Congress, you know, will not make the right decisions to get the American people back to work. Everyone knows that Congress is as popular as a root canal. They're at 13 percent.

The president has to do more than just run against Congress. He has to tell the American people that his administration has used every tool at their disposal to get jobs -- job creation back on track.

First of all, the government grant contracts each and every week. Why not, you know, stipulate that -- that these government contractors, whether it's the defense contractors or some small business supplying toilet paper or janitorial equipment, why not stipulate that there's a hiring quota there, there's a hiring recipe there? Why not give more credit to small businesses so that they can go out and hire people?

When Maxine Waters, who I have enormous respect for, says to members of the black community (inaudible) she's not saying, I want to attack the president. She's saying, look, we want a strategy. We don't want another plan. We know that the Republicans want to prove the president's plan. We want a strategy, a long-term strategy to bring jobs back to the inner cities, black wealth, just -- not because I'm black, but because I'm an American.

But over the last four years, 53 percent of black wealth has just disappeared. The average -- for white families, the median income is $113,000. For black families, $5,000, $5,000. It has dropped.

So these families are hurting. They want help. They want relief. They don't want to hear about Congress. They don't want to hear about the Tea Party. They don't want to hear another plan. They want jobs.

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