Rangel Wants the Nation to Follow Bloomberg

rangel phone222 Rangel Wants the Nation to Follow Bloomberg

Rep. Charlie Rangel. (photo credit: azi paybarah / observer)

Rep. Charlie Rangel hopes President Obama takes a lesson from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced a major $130 million initiative to help black and Latino men.

“I think what the mayor has done is what the nation is going to have to do,” Rangel said in an interview this morning. “This has to be a national policy.”

“The cost of keeping people in connecting with the criminal justice system…arresting, putting them on trial, putting them in jail, monitoring them on parole, is far more expensive than any educational budget you can imagine,” he said, “It’s really a threat to our national security.”

It was “stupid” he said to have a debate about the debt ceiling, and that lawmakers in Washington “should have been talking about jobs.”

The congressman said Bloomberg’s focus on bolstering education as a way of tackling the high recidivism rate among young minority was particular important.

“Just as in slavery where a released free slave could not be productive unless they stopped the ban on learning and taught the slave — we’re in the same condition now with certain communities doomed for failure, because the educational system is failing,” he said.

Rangel said he hoped Bloomberg’s initiative would “set an example” for “other well-off people” to fund similar projects.