Obama Threatens Community Action Agencies in SOTU


In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed a three year freeze on federal spending.  He suggested only a couple of specific cuts, however.  One was to defense spending.  The other was to community action agencies, such as the Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority (FACAA), which disburses LIHEAP and other emergency funds.

“This freeze will require painful cuts.  Already, we’ve frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years.  I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs.  The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without,” Obama said.

FACAA CEO Joyce Dorsey noted Obama’s statement in a Facebook post.  “Now the task to impart the meaning of that speech to all the people FACAA serves.  Did y’all hear the intention to reduce spending… specifically community action programs, to name a few.  Pity the chronically unemployed and people who strictly depend on subsidies.  We’ve got to teach poverty-free thinking and self-reliance …. even when there’s no money to create jobs or businesses.”

Then on January 27, Dorsey submitted the following comment via White House Live: 

“Programs for the poor are not a significant cost to the total budget… that is to say, much less than costly than defense and corporate welfare… I want to know why the suggestion to cut community action programs is on the table when we deal with the majority of problems of the working poor?”

Just because Obama has proposed cutting community action agency budgets does not mean, however, that US Congress has to go along with it.

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