According to a recent story by the McClatchy newswire, Hispanics are frustrated with President Obama now that it is becoming increasingly clear that his campaign promises were nothing more than empty rhetoric. Although the article focuses on Hispanics’ disappointment in the lack of a comprehensive immigration bill to emerge from the Democratic-controlled Congress, Hispanics would do well looking beyond the immigration issue to realize how misguided the President’s policies are for all Americans – including Hispanics.
Nowhere is this more evident than on the issue of education, where the high school drop out rate for Hispanics stands at a frightening fifty percent in some of our country’s biggest cities. Instead of supporting increased measures to provide Hispanic families with the opportunity to choose for themselves where to send their children to school, this Administration’s education policies have been more of the same.
Despite previous failed attempts to boost academic achievement with increased federal spending, last year’s stimulus bill included almost $97 million dollars for education spending, doing very little to improve accountability and transparency. And despite promising to fund only programs that work, the President has been excruciatingly silent as the successful DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is on the verge of being eliminated. The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program has been a lifeline for many working families in the District looking for a way out of the worst public school system in the country.
On healthcare, instead of adopting market-friendly measures to increase affordability and increased consumer options, the President insisted on pushing forward with a government-run health insurance exchange. Of significance to the Hispanic community, health insurance portability would be particularly advantageous given the community’s propensity to work for various employers. Instead, the President and his allies in Congress, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told Hispanics that their plan was the best way to provide health insurance.
But perhaps of most significance, with the unemployment rate at nearly 10 percent for all Americans and nearly 13 percent (according to the Washington Post) for Hispanics, the President continues to insist that his stimulus bill has been a resounding success. Despite the obvious failures of last years’ stimulus bill, Congress is working on yet another “stimulus bill” that will amount to nothing more than a pork-laden piece of legislation that will only add to our national debt and do little to improve the economy. If signed into law, Hispanics, just like the rest of our country, will get stuck paying off this expensive bill. Meanwhile, spend-happy politicians will surely point to it before this year’s congressional elections to show the electorate that they have done something to help the economy, even if that “something” is nothing more wasteful spending.
Instead of providing Hispanic families with increased opportunities to choose for themselves where to send their children to school or allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money through tax cuts, it seems like many in the left want to continue pushing Hispanics into depending on the federal government for everything.
Hopefully, the disappointment in the President’s empty campaign promises will transcend into further distrust of the liberal agenda and big government.