Two seemingly unrelated stories (one a press release from the U.S. Treasury Department issued on April 23, 2013; the other an excerpt from a book on NASA and Space Flight) illustrate the current state of America better than any speech by a Conservatism Inc. politician or oration by a Marxist academic ensconced in academia.
|One branch of mankind's greatest accomplishment... attacked as 'foolish spending' better served on America's poor black communities.|
No need for any analysis, for the narrative should leap from your computer screen and knock you over the head with a ferocity usually reserved for the boxing ring:
Washington, DC—Building on the Obama Administration’s commitment to increase economic opportunity in distressed areas of the United States, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today announced $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) awards nationwide. Treasury will provide 85 organizations with tax credit allocation authority under the tenth award round of the NMTC Program.
“The New Markets Tax Credit addresses one of the most significant obstacles to economic development that low-income communities face: a lack of access to patient, private investment capital,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Cyrus Amir-Mokri. “The $31 billion worth of tax credits awarded in past years have gone toward preserving hundreds of thousands of jobs and bringing community facilities and new businesses into neighborhoods that desperately needed them. I expect today’s awardees will continue that trend.”
“In fact, over 70 percent of New Markets Tax Credit investments have been made in communities that meet the highest distress criteria, above even the program’s requirements, CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. “That result effectively demonstrates how essential the New Markets Tax Credit Program is to spurring economic development in underserved areas.”
The NMTC, established by Congress in December 2000, permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in vehicles known as Community Development Entities. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. For every dollar invested by the Federal government, the NMTC Program generates over eight dollars in private investment. This strong record of spurring economic growth is one of the reasons why President Obama’s FY14 budget included an expansion and permanent extension of the New Markets Tax Credit.
The 85 organizations receiving awards under the 2012 round were selected from a pool of 282 applicants that requested approximately $21.9 billion. They are headquartered in 28 states and the District of Columbia, but will be providing services in a wide range of local and state areas as well as on the national level. For more detailed information about the states where awardees anticipate investing their allocations, please see the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov/statesserved.
To Learn More
The complete award list and other highlights of the 2012 NMTC Program Awards can be found on the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov/2012nmtc.
About The CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded over $1.7 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Awards Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $36.5 billion in tax credit authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program. Learn more at www.cdfifund.gov.
It is in T.A. Heppenheimer's book Space Shuttle Decision, 1965-1972, we learn that as one branch of mankind of was preparing to send a man to the moon, another branch of mankind was busy trying to see money invested in such a frivolous endeavor channeled to their community. From the chapter, "Winter of Discontent" (p. 151-152):
On an afternoon in July 1969, while the Apollo 11 mission stood poised for a flight to the moon, Tom Paine found himself confronted by a group of civil rights demonstrators. Their leader was Reverend Ralph Abernathy, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Abernathy had succeeded Martin Luther King in that post, following the death of King a year earlier. Abernathy now came to Cape Canaveral on the eve of NASA's triumph.A light mist of rain fell intermittently, as thunder rumbled in the distance. Paine stood coatless under a cloudy sky, accompanied only by NASA's press officer, as Abernathy approached with his party, marching slowly and singing "We Shall Overcome." Several mules were in the lead, as symbols of rural poverty. Abernathy then gave a short speech.
He deplored the condition of the nation's poor, declaring that one-fifth of the nation lacked adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. In the face of such suffering, he asserted that space flight represented an inhuman priority. He urged that its funds be spent to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick, and house the homeless.
Paine replied that "if we could solve the problems of poverty by not pushing the button to launch men to the moon tomorrow, then we would not push that button." He added that NASA's technical advances were "child's play" compared to "the tremendously difficult human problems" that concerned the SCLC. He offered the hope that NASA indeed might contribute to addressing these problems, and then asked Abernathy, a minister, to pray for the safety of the astronauts. Abernathy answered with emotion that he would certainly do this, and they ended this impromptu meeting by shaking hands all around.
Their brief conversation brought no lasting consequence. Yet it was heavy with history, for Paine and Abernathy stood as representatives of two deep themes that had marked the nation's experience before America even existed.
Paine was the technologist, heir to a record of splendid accomplishment. His forebears had built ships, constructed transcontinental railroads, dug the Panama Canal, captured water to allow cities to grow in the arid West, flung power and telephone lines from coast to coast. They had built highways and factories, had put the nation on wheels, had mastered the art of flight. At that very moment, others were winning achievement in the realm of computers.
There was, however, another and far more somber side to America's history, for the nation had been conceived in the original sin of slavery. Abraham Lincoln had proposed that "every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword"; yet the stain ran so deep that not even the Civil War could expunge it. Like Lincoln, Martin Luther King had grappled with this sin, had sought the moral authority to sway a deeply divided people; and like Lincoln, he had paid with his life, with his goal only partly won.One branch of mankind succeeded on walking on the moon. Every time you look up at the moon - be it a full, waxing, or waning moon - know that the only feet to ever tread upon it are those of Europeans.
|No singing of "We Shall Overcome" can help Detroit 'overcome' what blacks have done to the city|
But know this -- though the problems of poverty were not solved back in 1969 and we did send men to the moon, Reverend Abernathy's dreams came true in the end.
Space flight and exploration isn't an "inhuman priority" -- it's a priority of a civilization unencumbered by being tethered finite.
A belief in our supremacy got us to the moon, propelled by the dreams of a better tomorrow for our posterity and our nation; a belief in our shared guilt gave us Detroit 2013, propelled by the nightmares our forefathers stained their progeny with...
Now, we give tax-credits in the billions to areas blighted by the same people who 44 years ago stood against one branch of mankind's greatest technological achievement -- whining for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
"One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Few people know a speech was prepared for President Nixon in the event the Apollo mission experienced problems:
"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin [Buzz] Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice."What hope is there for mankind in the sacrifice of Detroit? Of Birmingham? Of Memphis? Of Baltimore? Of St. Louis? Of Philadelphia? Of Milwaukee? Of Chicago?
Civilization has been sacrificed in these cities.