President Obama complained last week that the GOP-controlled Congress will likely impede investments in blighted urban areas such as Baltimore. There’s just one problem – Baltimore received a $1.8 billion grant from the stimulus package passed early in Obama’s first term in office.
The president addressed the rioting by calling for increased funding for education, criminal justice reform and job training, but blaming the GOP for failing to act.
“I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities,” he stated.
One problem — Baltimore received $1,831,768,487 through the Stimulus Act in 2009.
In fact, Baltimore’s central ZIP code, 21201, received a total of $837,955,866, including funding for 276 awards that created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2013. Of $8 million-plus, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to “family”; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and only $3.1 million to job training.
Baltimore’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 8.4 percent.
Meanwhile, ZIP code 21202 received $425,170,937, including a $136 million grant to “improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet State academic achievement standards, ” while another 29 other ZIP codes listed in Baltimore city received a total of $568,641,684.
But in a city where Democrats have reined supreme for over half-a-century, the money-train needs to keep spending. Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Democratic Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards about the possible failure of Baltimore’s civil leaders.
“A lot of people, frankly Conservatives, have pointed out that Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor in 50 years,” Wallace said. “Is it unfair to say that liberal policies have failed Baltimore?”
“No, I think it’s been unfairly spread,” Edwards responded. “Just prior to the Freddie Gray incident, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was actually prevailing upon our Republican governor to release money for school funding.”
“Baltimore was already spending plenty for public schools and the schools were still lousy,” Wallace responded, noting the city ranked among the highest in the nation on per-capita school spending.
No wonder few people think things will get better.
A whopping 96-percent expect more “racial disturbances” this summer, according to a WSJ/NBC poll conducted April 26-30. Sixty-percent of Blacks said clashes between police and communities are the result of “long-standing frustrations about police mistreatment of African-Americans.”
Only 32 percent of Whites agreed with that statement, while 58 percent said they were caused by people seeking an excuse to loot. Some 27-percent of Blacks said the protests were used “as an excused to engage in looting and violence.”
Democratic leadership has failed Baltimore – but Progressives won’t admit it.