Dr. Ben Carson! What a gem! Carson, Director of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development came, saw, and “felt their pain,” in Cairo, IL, where 200 families in the intentionally neglected 400 unit public housing complexes have tried to get their demands heard for years. But Dr. Ben came to tell them there was nothing he could do. HUD, he exclaimed, is no longer in the housing business! HUD would not foot the bill to fix the problems so the families could stay in their community and the kids could stay in their school district. In a soft nearly inaudible voice Carson told them that the best he could do was to offer them vouchers to go elsewhere.
Isn’t that just fine and dandy! Trump and friends are cutting $3 billion from the low-income housing and voucher systems. ln a nation that doesn’t have enough “affordable” housing, the outwardly mean spirited Trump gang are adding insult to injury by shifting billions of dollars from programs for low income workers, youth and seniors to the rich. In a budget of $4 trillion there should be no one that must suffer homelessness or the threat of it. No one should live in substandard housing today in a nation of abundant housing.
The housing cuts should be seen in the context of the combination of Trump’s proposed tax cuts and the federal budget resolutions passed by the House and Senate, which will be deadly for all but the rich if they become law. The top 1% would get $1.9 trillion in tax breaks. All non-Medicare health programs, especially Medicaid and Obamacare, would see a cut of $1.3 trillion over 10 years, and Medicare would be cut by almost $500 billion over 10 years. Income security programs would be cut by $653 billion. This includes food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poor, unemployment insurance, and both military and civilian federal employee pensions. At the same time, military and intelligence spending, already at around $1 trillion a year, will increase.
The billionaires know the system is dying. The more they turn to technology to do the work we once did, the more they turn to speculation to turn profits and the more they cut or privatize every social program we have known during the industrial era so they can pocket the money.
The fight right now is to force government to be OUR government, not the government of the wealthy corporate billionaires. In order for “We, the People” to prevail, we must demand that Carson and the politicians in Washington use their power now to spend the money needed to build the affordable housing capacity the people need in Cairo, IL and big cities alike. This is a life or death matter. And it’s a step on the path to getting rid of the corporations altogether and building a totally new society.