Dear Trump, Let California Sink
Dear Trump, Let California Sink
California is rich with homeless people, and has a one party state government that is unwilling to fix the problem. Trump needs to let California sink under its own swill. His tweet threatening a potential federal takeover of California’s homeless troubles is the wrong approach, and gives the Democrat run state exactly what it wants.
Democrats love to hold California as an example of how progressive policies “work”, and prosperity thrives. Tales of the most populous state, a worldwide #5 position in GDP, leading tech innovation, “the Left Coast leads” etc. Very boorish and self-important to the rest of the country.
Despite great wealth and progressive policies, the state is under a deluge of unprecedented homelessness. Even places like Seattle fear becoming Los Angeles County, VG Deanna authors a great piece here. Yet, LA County is a drop in the bucket of the total estimated numbers. Overall, the state has approximately, One Hundred Twenty Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy Two people living on the streets. 129,972 people are homeless. This doesn’t include the over 200,000 school aged kids who are cited in the data. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Trump’s Christmas tweet threatening Gavin Newsom with federal intervention is outrageous and egregious.
Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved! https://t.co/2z8zM37PUA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2019
Not only is it overreach into what is essentially a state’s rights issue (responsibility), it’s giving the Democrats an easy out. The state is where it is due to decades of progressive policy and an outright choice to ignore the problem. LA has always (since at least the late 20th century) had a “Skid Row”, and Venice Beach has been downtrodden and grungy. San Fransisco has always had pockets of homeless. California has seemingly forever been expensive, and short on affordable housing. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to the state government that there is a problem spilling out into the streets.
But is it a problem worthy of federal intervention, aka more of our tax dollars? California has the cash on hand to fund its progressive projects. According to Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO),
“California’s budget continues to be in a good position. We estimate the Legislature will have a $7 billion surplus available to allocate in the upcoming budget process, and in addition, will build an $18.3 billion balance in the state’s rainy day fund by the end of 2020‑21”
Awesome, they can allocate some of that $7 billion towards fixing their homelessness problem. But then again, why do that when they know baiting the POTUS will imprint the federal fingers and cash all over their sinking ball of sludge?
HUD Secretary Ben Carson sent an excellent reply to Newsom’s request for additional funding.
“Your letter seeks more Federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers but fails to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis … California’s unsheltered homeless population has skyrocketed as a result of the State’s over-regulated housing market, its inefficient allocation of resources, and its policies that have weakened law enforcement.”
Federal intervention is a losing proposition for this administration. Even though their ideas aren’t far removed from those espoused by Newsom and crew, Trump will be vilified for them. It has happened before, with the illegal immigrant detention centers and Obama’s “cages” becoming Trump’s fault. It happened with the incorrectly labeled “Muslim Ban” that was actually an expansion of an Obama era policy. In fact, some outlets like THE Nation, have already started laying the groundwork just in case the administration becomes more involved.
“Now that Trump is again disparaging California, the administration is bringing its characteristic mix of cluelessness and cruelty to bear on the crisis … Trump’s proposed policies are horrifying, but [the] underlying logic—treating homelessness as a crime—is not unique.”
Trump needs to step back from federal intervention then let the local and state governments fix their homelessness problem. The voters of California have placed their trust in these leaders, and the leadership should remain accountable to the voters. This won’t happen if the feds intervene, and take-over the problem. Taking over won’t fix it, but will shift the blame from the shoulders of the California legislature. Every American taxpayer will be paying for it.
If Trump can stay free of further “twitterventions”, and remain hands off, there is a small chance that the California voters will hold their elected officials responsible for this problem. It won’t swap the state legislature to Republican control, but it may cost the Democrats a few seats. It will also reduce the fodder available to toss at Trump in 2020. Let the state maintain authority and responsibility for this problem, especially if doing so highlights the absolute idiocy of single party governance.
California allowed this problem to fester, and California needs to fix it. Or sink under the stench.