Once upon a time, there was a large, bustling city called HomeTown that was hit by a devastating earthquake.
Tag Archives: politics
I wonder if this country could ever imagine, I mean clearly picture, a nation without homelessness. Maybe if we closed our eyes, and saw empty streets and empty shelters, it could actually become a reality.
Consider this: In 2010, more than 600,000 Americans were currently homeless during a week-long count conducted in communities across the country. That same year, more than 1.6 million Americans were homeless at some point during the calendar year. To put it in perspective, the difference between the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in 2000 was less than 600,000 votes.
Is Osama Bin Laden really dead? How about Elvis Presley? The conspiracy theories go on and on, as if movie director Oliver Stone is looking for more story plots.
How about this one? There is a conspiracy in this country to intentionally keep 643,000 Americans homeless (the total number of people experiencing homelessness).
Popular centrist Matt Miller has joined the chorus against health care and pension programs for seniors, i.e., Social Security and retirement benefits for state public employees. They’ve saddled the government with obligations that leave it without “the cash or flexibility to address emerging non-elderly needs.”
He’s not the only one to pit the interests of seniors against those of the younger generation. Stephen Marche, for example, styles spending on Social Security and Medicare as “The War Against Youth.” The baby boomers, he says, are “eating the young at the dinner table.”
I wouldn’t want to leave the impression that the House Agriculture Committee’s attack on the food stamp program was the only threat to low-income people spawned by the Republican majority’s effort to protect defense spending.
The Ways and Means Committee also had to find more savings — $53 billion over the next 10 years. And it too met its target by shifting costs to low-income people. But they’re not the only ones who’ll be harmed by what it’s come up with — far from it.
Can a push of a virtual button, or a click of a plastic computer mouse, really change the world?
The generation before me consisted of traditional activists who rebelled against an American society that they thought had wrongfully sent young men to kill Southeast Asians without much clear rationale, other than to fight some political theory that supposedly threatened democracy.
You can’t have both guns and butter. House Republicans have taken this old piece of federal budget wisdom seriously. They’ve opted for guns — not over butter, but over food assistance for poor people.
The guns at issue here are funds for defense. Sequestration, i.e., the annual across-the-board cuts required by the Budget Control Act, would reduce them by $54.7 billion a year.
When homelessness touches a community, polarized stakeholder camps battle with each other like it is a high-stakes presidential campaign.
The businesses and homeowners admonish local politicians by threatening to withdraw their financial campaign support, while advocates for the homeless use their vote-getting potential to insinuate they will support a leader who sympathizes with their cause to protect people on the streets.
I met a homeless family the other day. The mother was, to all appearances, six months pregnant. The father was tending to their toddler.
They had no place to stay and no money for food. And the Family Resources Center — the District’s central intake for homeless families — couldn’t help them.