“The role of government is to create conditions in which jobs are created, in which people can find work.”
George W. Bush
–President of the United States
Hmmm..”Create Conditions in which jobs are created”.. makes sense to me????
America’s changing economy is strong and getting stronger. But
America’s economic strength is not felt equally throughout the Nation. In low-income communities and in communities where traditional industries do not employ as many workers as they did a generation ago, opportunity can appear out of reach. President Bush believes that communities can make the transition to vibrant and strong economies because of the entrepreneurial spirit, vision, and hard work of those who live there. The job of government is to inspire, to help remove barriers to growth, to be accountable for taxpayer dollars, and to ensure results for programs aimed at making a difference in peoples’
Building on existing economic and community development efforts, the President will propose a new initiative to help strengthen America’s
transitioning and most needy communities, while making better use of taxpayer dollars by reforming and restructuring many of the existing
Federal economic and community development programs. The President’s initiative, to be proposed in his Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 budget, will consolidate 18 existing programs, simplify access to the Federal system, set new eligibility criteria, and establish strong accountability standards all in exchange for the flexible use of the funds so that communities most in need will be assisted. The new $3.71 billion unified grant-making program will better target assistance and achieve greater results for low-income persons and economically-distressed areas.
The full Plan is here Strengthening America’s Communities
Geesh…in the scheme of things Bush is giving US back $3.71 billion dollars. Wow! That amount is PAULTRY compared to what he has stolen from US!
Snippets from Bush’s Initiative (as if he had any..):
* Clarify the purpose of federal development assistance to focus on the key drivers of economic growth and opportunity;
- Simplify the grant process so that communities and grantees no longer have to manage a fragmented array of programs;
- Target funding to those communities most in need of assistance (some communities would see
increased funding from what they currently receive under the Community Development Block Grant
- Hold grantees accountable for results.
- Creating new Opportunity Zones to assist America’s transitioning neighborhoods, which are areas
that have lost a significant portion of their economic base as a result of our changing economy and are now in the process of transitioning to a more diverse, broad-based, 21st century economy, as well as
communities with persistent poverty;
Establishing new education and job training programs to help workers develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy;
Introducing tax incentive proposals for the development of single-family housing in low-income areas; and
Revitalizing former brownfields, which are abandoned or underutilized industrial properties where redevelopment is hindered by possible environmental contamination and potential liability.
Redevelopment of these properties is creating jobs and returning productive property to local tax rolls.
Which communities qualify to be an Opportunity Zone?
Opportunity Zones expand the concept of traditional enterprise zones to include communities in transition.
A community can qualify to be an Opportunity Zones by fitting one of the following two categories:
* Rural or Urban “Communities in Transition”. These areas have suffered from a significant
decline in the economic base, including a decline in manufacturing and retail establishments, within their community over the past decade and benefit from targeted assistance in transitioning to a more diverse, 21st century economy.
* Existing Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, or Renewal Communities.
These communities received their designation due to high poverty rates, high unemployment,
and low incomes. By receiving an Opportunity Zone designation in lieu of their current
designation, however, these communities are eligible for the expanded benefits available to
There will be 40 new Opportunity Zones selected – 28 urban zones and 12 rural zones – through a competitive process. The competitive process will determine whether there is a commitment from the community to partner with the federal government and a demonstrated capacity to reduce local barriers to
development and create jobs.
Only 40 new Opportunity Zones available through a competitive process? Which means fighting tooth and claw for bread crumbs. Thank you so much!