Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian.
If you live in or around San Francisco and visit the downtown area or Golden Gate Park, it is abundantly clear that we have a “homeless” problem. Thousands of ragged, unwashed people (the most recent count is a staggering 6,436) aimlessly roam the streets and wooded areas of the Park. It is clear that there is no easy solution and I do not have one to propose.
Generally speaking, I think most American conservatives (the most generous people on Earth) would prefer to see these individuals in a nice residence hotel – not new, but not shabby, either. However, I believe we can all agree, conservative or liberal altruist, the solution is NOT to try to “house” the homeless in… say, the Millennium Towers (condo price range: $3 – 9 million) or the St. Regis (condo price range is a paltry: $3 – 4 million). It is also “impractical” to use the scarce housing monies to provide rich people with housing assistance. I mean, what idiot would come up with solutions like that?
Well, the answer to what “idiot” would come up with a solution like that is your Federal Government. Perhaps Henry Ford was wrong. One can be “prosperous by letting the Government take care of him.”
[Source: Thanks to Federal Assistance, Low-Income Americans Live in Luxury Apartments in Chicago, by Vanessa Caulder]
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) places low-income residents in luxury high rises. One luxury building used by voucher holders, 500 North Lake Shore Drive, qualifies as the most expensive apartment building in downtown Chicago. Rents for a one-bedroom approach $3000 per month. Admittedly, that wouldn’t be a huge rental fee in San Francisco, but that is hardly a recommendation for this idiocy!
How can they do that, ask you? They use your tax dollars to foot the bill, answer I. The CHA used federal tax revenue and the federal housing voucher program to provide the apartments.
As well, the U.S. inspector general estimates that 25,226 households occupying public housing units exceed the Housing and Urban Development Department’s 2014 eligibility income limits. In New York City, one household was making an annual income of $497,911 and living in taxpayer-funded public housing. OK, say you, one example doesn’t make your case. That may be true, answer I, BUT WHAT AN EXAMPLE! More to the point, in excess of 17,000 over-income families live in public assistance housing for more than one year. So it wasn’t “a mistake” or an “aberration.”
The public housing income cap in New York City is a whooping $67,100. It strikes me that even in New York City an income of $67,100 isn’t exactly where most Americans would think the “income cap” should be set. The median wage in the US per person is $26,695 and the median household income is at $50,500.
But here is where the idiocy is compounded! According to the New York Housing Authority, allowing “over-income” families like this to reside in public housing is “beneficial.” For its part, the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) does not encourage housing authorities, like the New York Housing Authority, to require over-income families to find market-rate housing.
The U.S. inspector general estimated that HUD will pay more than $104 million in the coming year for public housing units occupied by families that exceed income thresholds.
My friends, we cannot solve these problems by electing a Republican president, or more conservative Congressmen, or finding better managers for Housing and Urban Development. These problems go hand-in-glove with Big Government. When our government is spending over $6 trillion annually (see below), $104 million is scarely a rounding error. No one is paying attention!
The only solution is to make government smaller – a lot smaller.