Jesse Jackson Claims Obama Deserves “Big Hand” for Being “Food Stamp President”; Project 21 Members Disagree

Washington, D.C. – Black conservatives with the Project 21 leadership network are condemning the welfare state cheerleading of Jesse Jackson, who claimed President Obama deserves a “big hand” and “honor” for being a “food stamp president.”

Project 21 members also dispute Obama Administration assertions that welfare spending stimulates the economy effectively.

“This is twisted logic. Dr. King didn’t march and die for the perpetuation of the welfare state,” said Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson. “They are doing little more than perpetuating a class of jobless and poor people to shore up the rest of the economy. Not only is it a cop-out to focus on subsidies over job-creation, but it’s creating a slave-like existence where people must rely on the government for food, medical care and other essentials.”

Project 21-affiliated activists protested this disingenuous growth of a new welfare state at noontime in Washington, D.C.’s Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) as part of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s “Occupy Occupy D.C.” program. The National Center obtained a five-week permit (February 12 through March 15) to hold events in the same park as a leftist Occupy D.C. encampment.

Last week, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said about extending unemployment benefits: “People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.”

Jarrett’s assertion echoes comments made by other top Obama Administration officials last August that considered emergency safety nets to be part of the White House’s economic stimulus agenda. Obama press secretary Jay Carney lectured a reporter at that time that unemployment assistance “creates growth” and is “one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy.” Days later, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — the “most direct stimulus you can get.”

“The Obama Administration is playing a shell game with taxpayer money. There needs to be a focus on creating jobs instead of fostering dependency,” said Project 21 spokeswoman Stacy Washington. “Approving the Keystone XL pipeline would create jobs, incomes, savings, benefits and revenue for the government. Yet the Obama Administration is stopping it. They seem to think there is more logic and dignity in telling people it is alright to stay unemployed, and they are justifying it by claiming unemployment benefits are a stimulus. But that money comes from taxpayers who are already being squeezed. It’s not a viable solution to fixing our economy.”

Even though Jesse Jackson had previously admonished former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for his assertion that President Obama is a “food stamp president,” saying Gingrich was “name-calling,” Jackson flip-flopped last Saturday to call the designation “an honor.” Jackson also said Obama deserved a “big hand” for helping the agricultural workers and the hungry.

“Maybe Jesse Jackson will see it as less of an honor if Obama is called the ‘dependency president,'” said Project 21 spokesman Reginald Jones. “The War on Poverty of over 40 years ago created a culture of dependency that hurt the poor more than it helped. Hurricane Katrina showed how lethal this dependency is when the government fails. For Jackson to think that Obama should be applauded for making more and more people dependent on other taxpayers is crazy. Recreating the generational welfare state is not a source of pride.”

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Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.