Even more shocking than the riveting statistic that 47.5 million Americans are dependent on federal government food stamps is the appalling figure of 65 million people in the United States with criminal records.
The staggering number of criminal records underlies the structural decay of American society and culture in the Obama era. This ominous data manifests itself in a variety of other social dilemmas that reflect a broken nation after the first four years of President Barack Obama.
The 65 million people with criminal records are contributing to high unemployment and under-employment rates due to increased use of background checks in recent years.
Many of the millions of people with previous criminal records who lost their jobs during the economic distress of the last four years obtained their original employment in prior eras when employers viewed background checks as expensive and unnecessary. Suddenly, despite possessing strong experience, required skill sets, and qualifications from previous employment, these candidates are faced with dim prospects for obtaining positions similar to their former jobs, according to a report from the National Employment Law Project.
This predicament, according to the NELP report, is especially damaging to younger males in minority groups - particularly young African-American men.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice for a working group reporting to Attorney General Eric Holder, nearly 75 percent of all people arrested are male, with 28 percent identified as African-American.
Each year 13 million people are admitted and released from local jails, with another 700,000 transferred to – or released from - state and federal prisons.
There are 2.3 million convicts incarcerated in U.S. jails and an astounding 40 percent of the prison population is African-American males. In fact, according to a study cited in the Department of Justice report, 25 percent of the African-American population born after 1990 will witness their father being sent to jail before their 14th birthday.
This disheartening state of affairs has not changed in a positive direction under President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder. Ironically, the exact opposite is the reality under President Obama’s presidency, with more African-American males in prison than were slaves in the 1850s and white-collar crimes going unpunished.
Under President Obama’s watch, it is Attorney General Eric Holder’s own Department of Justice that has declined to meaningfully investigate or prosecute a single individual from Wall Street and banking for the 2008 Financial Crisis.
Like a cruel hoax perpetrated against the American people, President Obama - brought to power in part because of the 2008 Financial Collapse - rewarded the individuals and Wall Street firms who caused it by declining to bring indictments or prosecutions against any of the parties responsible.
A Price for Freedom – None Dare Call It Corruption
For the 65 million with criminal records, 46 million on food stamps, and the 25 million unemployed and under-employed people in America, the harsh realization that the Obama White House has failed to prosecute a single case against those responsible for the financial crisis is proof that in Obama’s America money can buy immunity from the nation’s laws.
Government Accountability Institute president and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer noted the underlying facts in an article for the Daily Beast by answering a rhetorical question asking why Obama has let Wall Street executives go unpunished, writing:
“Why is that? In a word: cronyism. Take Goldman Sachs, for example. Thursday’s announcement that there will be no prosecutions should hardly come as a surprise. In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama’s top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman’s suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800.”
In addition to Goldman Sachs, top Wall Street banks J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, General Electric, and Morgan Stanley all made the list of top Obama campaign donors in 2008, according to Open Secrets.org.
The statute of limitations has now run out on ever prosecuting most of these cases, essentially ensuring that those who engineered the crisis will walk away wealthier and unpunished. In fact, one of them might become Obama’s next Treasury secretary.
Snapshot of Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, the issue of crime has taken a similar turn under Obama’s first term as president. Things that were once considered criminal activity now are either ignored by law enforcement, de-facto legalized, or swept aside by politicians anxious to score political points on more emotionally-charged ideological issues.
The murder rate is down in L.A., under 300 homicides each year for the past three years, signifying a huge victory for law enforcement.
While that is a relief to Angelinos, another bloody epidemic has replaced it, as a mind-boggling 20,000 hit-and-run crashes are killing or critically injuring 4,000 residents every year, representing a fatal new crime spree of death and destruction on the city’s streets.
Another new criminal affliction is emerging in Los Angeles as the stunning proliferation of marijuana dispensaries across the city has attracted violent criminals looking to score both cash and cannabis.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley expressed his concern that the dispensaries are a dangerous new law enforcement concern after a pair of killings at separate clinics on the same night in 2010, by saying:
”I think it’s predictable gangs will get involved. They go where the money is.”
After the killings, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca described his concern that organized crime and gangs will target marijuana clinics, saying:
“It’s one thing to go in and put a gun in the face of a person who’s running a commercial establishment and ask him for the money. It’s a totally different thing by assassinating the person that you’re robbing. That, to me, is very cartel-ish in its style. Now we are starting to see the sinister side.”
Obama’s America is also being defined by the shocking increase in mass shootings that have occurred since he took office.
Obama’s presidency has been marked by press conferences mourning the Tucson assassination attempt on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Sikh temple slayings in Wisconsin, and the Colorado movie theater massacre.
Obama’s first term did produce one prominent criminal justice highlight: the successful prosecution of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who attempted to sell President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after the 2008 election.
Blagojevich, a Democrat, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, joining former Gov. George Ryan, a Republican who was convicted on corruption charges and sentenced to six years and is due for release early in Obama’s second term. For President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, crime and corruption are a bipartisan affair.