It’s time again for states to submit their quarterly Section 1512 reports on how they spent stimulus funds and the number of jobs “saved or created” funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The reports will be posted to Recovery.gov on Jan. 30. But there will not be much to report on the impact of stimulus spending on the African American community. As the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. observed during the opening sessions of the Wall Street Project Economic Summit:
We need a Stimulus II that’s bottom up.
The first stimulus prioritized bailing out the banks but did so without linkages or obligations to reinvest ... Harlem and Wall Street are on the same island. Wall Street riding the tide does not lift Harlem or any other part of the country.
Small businesses last and big businesses first. Bail out the big banks and small businesses get what’s left. But there’s nothing left.Jackson said minority entrepreneurs must engage in a sustained struggle. He observed that the business of the Wall Street banksters is not small businesses:
They’re making money off of foreclosures.He noted that the bailed-out banksters did not have to comply with Title VI:
We want a radical thing -- the law enforced. We want the government to enforce the laws to protect the people.
We want a measure of justice ... When there’s inclusion, there’s growth. When there’s growth, everyone wins.
Jackson plans to buy stock in the leading predatory lenders that got us into this financial mess and go to their shareholders’ meetings, where he will ask them to follow the law.
He also plans to launch a multi-city campaign to push for “reconstruction banks” to provide access to capital for small businesses and homeowners. The reconstruction banks would be modeled after the Reconstruction Finance Corporation of the Great Depression.