The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution together provide that American citizens are entitled by right to equal protection of the laws, both federal and state, but many politicians think they have the right to ignore that mandate and grant by the force of law special privileges and advantages to some to the disadvantage of others.
Case in point: President Obama believes that he can arbitrarily and by fiat create so-called anti-poverty “Promise Zones” which will grant special privileges and advantages to people living within them while denying the same benefits of the law to people living outside such zones.
Invoking his own personal story, the President aims to combat poverty, declaring recently that: “this is going to be a year of action.” He’s expected to elaborate that plan during his upcoming State of the Union address by announcing five communities that will be targeted for tax incentives and federal grants under a government Promise Zone program -- all to be accomplished without the necessity of any congressional action.
He’s simply going to order it by Presidential decree. “We’ve got to make sure this recovery — which is real — leaves nobody behind,” he said. “And that’s going to be my focus throughout the year.”
“There was a period of time in my life where I was goofing off,” Obama explained, “I was raised by a single mom; I didn’t know my dad…” This is his justification for violating the Constitution -- granting some people special privileges and advantages while denying equal benefits to others. He didn't know his dad.
The first 5 of an expected 20 anti-poverty Promise Zones which the President intends to announce over the next three years are located in San Antonio, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California, southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Communities within these zones will have a higher priority when applying for federal grants; will benefit from more coordinated government assistance, and be singled out for possible Congressional approved tax incentives.
But why should people who live in southeastern Kentucky be allowed special benefits provided by the law which are denied to similarly situated folks living just outside that arbitrary zone?
It’s just like the President declaring by fiat that people who live in Los Angeles will now be taxed at a lower federal rate on their incomes than taxpayers who live in San Francisco simply because they live in Los Angeles.
I call that unequal protection.