fresh voices from the front lines of change







Tea Party types say the “sequester” is just cutting “waste” out of the government – and government spending is a bad thing anyway. In Santa Clara County, California, 18,000 families face possible homelessness Sept. 1. That’s just one county. There are 3,144 counties and county-equivalents in the US.

My local paper has a story today, Rents soar for Santa Clara County’s most vulnerable, explaining that “sequester” cuts mean rent increases of as much as $910 per month for people who are in a situation that requires assistance. Half of these are seniors or the disabled. Many will be forced to move, but most landlords refuse to take “Section 8” vouchers.

The thing is, these 18,000 families are the “lucky” ones. They won the “lottery” that lets them receive this housing assistance at all. Shelters are full, people are on the streets, a few get some help, and that help is being cut.

Why is this incredibly important assistance being cut even more? Because Republicans want to keep taxes extremely low for the corporations and billionaires who pay for their smear-ad campaigns.

Cutting Spending Often Just Increases Spending

Republicans say that cutting the government’s budget “saves money.” The say government is “in the way” and “takes money out of the economy.” But here is the thing, cutting the budget really just shifts costs. It doesn’t eliminate costs, it shifts them, usually in ways that either end up increasing government spending even more, or hurting the economy, thereby reducing government revenue and increasing government costs.

For example, the sequester is cutting the Meals on Wheels budget. In the post, Here’s A Sequester Cut You’ll Feel In Your Gut, I pointed to a study that showed how sequester cutbacks in food for the elderly (obviously) causes these older people to need increased medical care or even to move into nursing homes. Both of these cost the government a lot more than is saved by cruelly cutting Meals on Wheels.

In Santa Clara County these 18,000 families are now going to have to find new places to live (fat chance) that will of course be much farther from any possible employment or onto the streets. Nationwide how many will be forced into homelessness just from this one program cut, which is one of many in the cruel sequester.

Again, all of this is about keeping taxes low for the giant corporations and billionaires who pay for Republican campaigns and the smear-ads that elect them.

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