EDITORIAL: Barack Obama for President

EDITORIAL: Barack Obama for President

As the 2008 presidential campaign enters its final weeks, Black Enterprise magazine publishes a special November issue with editorial focusing on our nation’s urgent need for change. In “The Best Man,” Black Enterprise, which has been the definitive voice of African American business for more than 38 years, articulates its continuing and unequivocal endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

By now, news of America’s perilous economic situation is widespread. The Bush administration’s push for greater deregulation and less transparency in much of the past eight years has contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis and reckless oil trading speculation.

Two venerable Wall Street investment banks — Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — have collapsed. The forced bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG caused Wall Street to post extraordinary losses. With unemployment hitting a five-year high of 6.1% — and black unemployment reaching 10.6% — hundreds of thousands of Americans have been left in financial crisis. Add rising food and fuel costs, mounting debt, and record home foreclosures to that list and it’s clear that the country is facing an unprecedented economic emergency.

Black Enterprise fully endorses Barack Obama as America’s best hope for recovery. His initiatives are fresh, aggressive, and comprehensive, while the policies put forth by his opponent, Sen. John McCain, can be likened to a stale rehash of the trickle-down agenda first introduced by the Reagan administration some 25 years ago. Obama offers middle-class families desperately needed financial relief; McCain further rewards individuals in the highest tax brackets.

It comes as no surprise that McCain has resorted to negative campaigning to confound middle-class voters. The commercials about Obama’s record and policy approach — especially when it comes to taxes — have been gross distortions. In truth, the Obama plan would reduce income taxes for individuals making less than $250,000 a year, and it’s estimated to help 95% of all working families. Moreover, Obama intends to repeal the Bush tax cuts for high income taxpayers ahead of schedule and increase the 15% rate on capital gains and dividends.

To spur innovation and create new jobs, he contends that he will eliminate capital gains taxes for start-ups and other small businesses. Also, in an effort to encourage corporations to keep jobs in the U.S, he proposes an end to breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Another vital component of Obama’s plan is the creation of 5 million jobs through the investment of $150 billion in clean technology over the next 10 years — including green-collar employment in ailing sectors such as construction and manufacturing.

Sen. Barack Obama represents our nation’s urgent need for effective leadership. He doesn’t change his approach or alter his character with a headline. He shuns petty politics. He’s a serious man for serious times. It’s time for new thinking on all issues—from the economy and foreign policy to education and technology. It’s time for the president of the United States to connect with—and care about—its diverse array of people. It’s become clear to Americans seeking