Oregon Democrats have introduced legislation that would give $123,000 in reparations to black Oregonians over the course of their lives.
According to a copy of the state Senate bill, the government will pay six figures to any person who can demonstrate that they are a descendant of American slaves and have “identified as African-American” on legal documents.
The text of the bill directs the state Department of Revenue to establish a reparations payment program to black Oregonians “who can demonstrate heritage in slavery” and provide documentation that they identify as “African-American” for at least 10 years. Recipients must reside in the state for at least two years before the application deadline of Dec. 31, 2022.
The payment would be an annuity where recipients would receive $123,000 paid out over the course of their life, plus interest.
The average black man has a lifespan of 75 years, so if a 30-year-old black man applies for the reparations program he would receive a yearly payment of approximately $2,733 per year from the Oregonian government. If the recipient receives a five percent interest rate on the reparations money, they could receive up to $2,870 per year.
Republicans estimate that at the absolute maximum end of the spectrum, the state will spend $11.8 trillion in total reparation investments and would likely cause an increase in taxes. Oregon Republicans fear that the legislation will cause an influx of people to move to the state in hopes of getting in on a second round of reparations. They believe that this would be a burden on Oregonian taxpayers.
The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Lew Frederick, a Democrat who serves as a co-majority whip.
The Biden administration has signaled that it intends to “start acting now” on reparations for black Americans. The Daily Wire reported that White House adviser Cedric Richmond said that the Biden administration supports reparations and free college tuition to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African-Americans who were enslaved,” Richmond said in an interview with Axios. “We have to do stuff now to improve the plight, status, future, and empowerment of Black people all around the country.”
A national timeline for reparations is unclear, though it appears the Biden administration plans to enact reparations under the guise of education laws in hopes of also including free community college to all Americans.
A professor at Duke University published a study advocating for the government to dish out $10 to $12 trillion in reparations to black households. This would average $800,00 to each black household. Advocates claim that it would close the “racial wealth gap.” Many on the Left have pointed to this study as a golden standard for reparations.
Other forms of reparations recommended by professors and policy wonks include a “baby bond,” which is a trust account for all newly born black children. The bonds would be issued in hopes that they would allow low to moderate-income children to attend college or start a business.
Reparations suggestions come as the United States has racked up trillions upon trillions in national debt, and as the US government passed a $1.9 trillion COVID bailout stimulus bill.