Duke University public policy professor William Darity recently published a report urging lawmakers to establish a $12 trillion reparations program. The program would reward $800,000 to each eligible African American household. The Roosevelt Institute sponsored the report, entitled “Resurrecting the Promise of 40 Acres: The Imperative of Reparations for Black Americans.” According to its home page, the Roosevelt Institute is a “think tank and campus network that works to move the country toward a new economy and democracy by the people, for the people.”
Darity and co-author Kirsten Mullen alluded to the U.S. government’s failure to fulfill a promise to give 40 acres to every former slave in the report. They assert that this failure is the reason that there exist lingering wealth disparities between Black and White households. In the authors’ view, had this policy been implemented following the Civil War, the authors “speculate that there would be no need to consider the case for black reparations today.”
The authors view the federal government as the “culpable” party in this dilemma, and as a result, it “must pay the debt” of $10 to $12 trillion dollars in 2016 dollars. The authors estimate that a payment of $800,000 to each Black household would close the present wealth gap.
However, the authors asserted that more gradualist reparations measures will not fully address the problem of systemic racism.
“Though piecemeal initiatives are admirable in their acknowledgment of the existence of a debt, these incremental efforts will not fundamentally change the conditions of structural, racial economic inequality,” Darity and Mullen said. “Our nation must be held accountable, and the federal government must meet the debt.”
The authors referenced the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and federal aid that was sent to Newton, Connecticut after the Sandy Hook Massacre as examples of what this reparations program would look like.
“Ultimately, respect for black Americans as people and as citizens — and acknowledgment, redress, and closure for the history and financial hardship they have endured — requires monetary compensation,” the report concluded. “Moreover, an emphatic message that ‘the murderers cannot inherit’ will be delivered.”
Campus Reform reached out to Darity to find out how the government would be able to fund reparations without raising taxes on American taxpayers who never owned slaves. Darity responded by saying that “nowhere” in the report was there any mention of raising taxes as a way to pay for the reparations program.
“Nowhere [in the report] do we say the reparations plan must be financed by raising anyone’s taxes,” Darity said.
When Campus Reform continued its inquiry on the matter, Darity referenced the government’s response to Wuhan virus.
“In the same way that the federal government just spent somewhere between $2 to 4 trillion without raising taxes in response to the coronavirus crisis,” Darity stated.
He cited The Deficit Myth by Stony Brook University Professor Stephanie Kelton, a former economic policy advisor for Bernie Sanders as another source of inspiration for carrying out this reparations plan.
In review of The Deficit Myth by John Cochrane of the Wall Street Journal, Cochrane noted that the book calls for high levels of money printing to “finance a massive spending agenda, with no concern about debt and deficits.” In her book, Kelton admitted that printing trillions of dollars could potentially lead to high levels of inflation.
In addition, Darity also asserted that the U.S. government is responsible for more than just slavery.
“100 years of legal segregation and waves of white terror campaigns, and ongoing atrocities including mass incarceration, police executions of unarmed blacks, sustained discrimination in credit, employment, and housing markets, and, most significant from an economic standpoint, the staggering racial wealth gap,” he said in his correspondence with Campus Reform.
Given the U.S.’s precarious fiscal situation, a reparations program would only accelerate its descent into a potential sovereign debt crisis. On top that, such a racialist redistribution program will increase resentment between racial groups and further destroy America’s already fragile social fabric.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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