This week, the Barack Obama re-election campaign launched "Latinos for Obama", one of the largest national efforts to engage and mobilize Latino voters. The roll out of the group comes complete with movie stars like Eva Longoria, as well as four new ads which highlight how the Presidents policies have empowered and helped the Latino community.

There's no question the Latino vote will play a pivotal role in the 2012 election. And with 31 percent of Hispanic voters identifying as independents, Latinos could mean the difference between a second-term or early retirement for the President.

But are Latinos really better off under Obama as his campaign claims? Here's three reasons to think otherwise:

1) Jobs and the Economy

The President likes to boast that his economic policies have saved 2 million jobs for Latino workers, yet Hispanics continue to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 10.3 percent.

Perhaps more disturbing, Latinos -- particularly Latino children -- have seen some of the highest increases in poverty since 2006. Pew estimates that nearly 6.1 million Latino children are currently living in poverty and two-thirds of Latinos say their personal finances are in 'fair' or 'poor' shape.

Can the President truly say he is "empowering" the Latino community at the same time it rapidly descends into poverty? Somehow, I think a lot of struggling Latino families would disagree.

2) ObamaCare and Taxes

Along with being the fastest growing segment of the population, Latinos also make up a growing number of small business owners. And nothing has been more destructive to small business than ObamaCare.

President Obama would have you believe that the 'tax breaks' within his healthcare bill are a boon to Latino entrepreneurs. Even if there are tax breaks to be taken advantage of in ObamaCare, most businesses are choosing to ignore them. Eighty-seven percent of small businesses aren't even taking advantage of the ObamaCare tax credit and many of Latino small business owners are completely unaware how they can benefit from new health care legislation.

The President also likes to promise us time and time again that if your family earns less than $250,000, you will not see taxes increase by a single dime. But his signature legislation is just the forebearer of an unprecedented $494 billion tax hike on the American people. Paying for ObamaCare is a major chunk of this expected tax increase -- an increase so disastrous that it's been dubbed  "Taxmaggedeon" by The Washington Post. And because many small businesses file as individuals, most Latinos will see their tax rate increase significantly more than a 'dime'.

3) Education

Lastly, we come to President Obama's record on education. The brass in Chicago have kicked off the launch of the Latino coalition by highlighting Obama's education successes, but there is little evidence to suggest that the President's education policies have helped Latino students.

Latino children continue to find themselves behind their white counterparts when it comes to educational achievement. A recent report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that there has been no change in the achievement gap since 1990. So not only are more Latino children falling into poverty, they are also not making up any ground when it comes to education. Change we can believe in indeed.

Add this to the President's Race to the Top program, which has been described by education experts as an aggressive extension of George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative. Race to the Top pits states against each other for federal education funds and establishes a national curriculum. The program was widely panned by civil rights and minority groups for politicizing the education process and leaving minority children in the dust.

If one thing has flourished under President Obama's education policies, it has been the dropout rate for Latino students. One-in-three Latinos don't finish high school according to a report released by Grad Nation. The graduation rate is most dismal in Western states, where a large portion of the Latino population resides.

Over the coming months, the President and his campaign will spend a lot of money to convince you that his administration has advanced the Latino cause. But before you cast your ballot in November, ask yourself if your situation has actually improved under Obama. As we'e seen, when it comes to the issues Latinos care most about, this President has been an abject failure.

Alexis Garcia is a political producer and correspondent for She also worked as a communications aide for the Giuliani and McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaigns.

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Alexis Garcia is a political producer and correspondent for She also worked as a communications aide for the Giuliani and McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaigns.

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