by Eric Lendrum
After economists estimated that California’s reparations plan could spend as much as $800 billion, the leader of the state’s “reparations task force” has refused to commit to such a staggering amount.
According to ABC News, the $800 billion figure would be paid to all black residents in the state in return for past historical circumstances such as slavery and segregation, as well as alleged “racism” in policing, incarceration rates, and housing.
“All forms of discrimination should be considered in reparations,” said Thomas Craemer, a public policy professor at the University of Connecticut, in testimony before the panel. “The task force should feel free to go beyond our loss estimates, and determine what the right amount would be.”
But on Wednesday, the task force’s chair, Kamilah Moore, said the final decision on the exact amount will be left up to the California state legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.).
“The task force is pretty much done regarding the compensation component,” Moore said in an email. “Our task was to create a methodology for calculation for various forms of compensation that correspond with our findings.”
The $800 billion estimate would be over 2.5 times higher than the entirety of California’s annual state budget, which is about $300 billion. In addition, the $800 billion recommendation includes another $1 million for every older black Californian, due to certain health and age disparities. The task force has been given a deadline of July 1st to formally submit its recommendations as far as the exact forms of compensation and who the recipients of such compensation should be.
Reparations has long been considered one of the top goals of black nationalist activists and groups like Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the race riots of 2020. Shortly after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody in Minneapolis, Newsom signed a bill into law ordering the creation of the reparations task force. California is the only state that has taken such extreme steps towards reparations, while attempts in most other states and at the federal level have been halted.
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