Categories
Corruption Poverty

Trump Slashing Housing Funds For The Needy But Protecting Millions In Subsidies He Receives

As President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress begin their coordinated assault on the most vulnerable members of American society, rest assured that they and their wealthy contributors won’t have to sacrifice anything. From health care to taxes, food assistance to housing, Republicans plan to cut away billions of dollars currently being used to provide a social safety net.

One such program that the Trump administration is preparing to cut is housing for the poor. But while the president and his GOP allies take their knives to funds which help the neediest, the administration would leave in place subsidies which are paid directly to landlords by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Donald Trump just so happens to be one of the landlords who benefits from HUD subsidies. As a part owner of Brooklyn’s Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex, Trump’s most recent financial disclosure shows that his 4 percent ownership stake in the complex garnered him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15.

A HUD spokesman told the Washington Post that the partnership that owns Starrett City has received more than $490 million in subsidies since May 2013.  $38 million of that has come since Trump took office on January 20, 2017.

Trump’s father, Fred Trump, a well-known New York slumlord, was the first member of the Trump family to invest in the Starrett City partnership. When he died, the children inherited his holdings. As Bob Liff, a spokesman for Starrett City Associates, explained:

“Upon Fred Trump’s death, his four children inherited his interests. There’s been no change, except that Donald Trump’s holding was placed in a revocable trust upon becoming president.”

In other words, at the same time Trump and Congressional Republicans will be creating more homeless Americans, their leader is still sucking at the teat of HUD money. And while the president allegedly turned over the running of his business interests to his sons when he was elected, does anyone believe he doesn’t benefit from the revenue being produced?

Trump is a hypocrite and very likely a traitor. He is determined to carry out his reverse Robin Hood plan for this country. And millions will suffer as a result.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

Categories
Economics Poverty Social Safety Net

2018 GOP Budget Will Feature Massive Cuts To Programs For the Poor, The Disabled, And Veterans

If there’s one thing Republicans excel at (other than lying and making excuses for their criminal behavior), it’s finding new ways to screw the poorest and most vulnerable among us. If you’re poor, have a disability, or cannot afford decent healthcare, it must be your fault, and you shouldn’t expect any help from the government.

House budget writers are busily working on deep new cuts to the American social safety net, including programs such as food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled, and even veterans benefits.

Worse, the budget hawks in the GOP are also looking for ways to cut as much as $400 billion in social spending through a process which would allow them to subvert Democratic filibusters in the Senate.

Additionally, those crafting the 2018 budget are also under instructions from House Speaker Paul Ryan to help him realize his long-held dream of privatizing Medicare, which could wind up leaving millions of American seniors holding the bag for increased premiums, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) told Politico:

“The Budget Committee is trying to force the entire conference and committees of jurisdiction to focus on ways to bring down this deficit.”

If grandma has to cut back on how often she eats or what medications she can afford to take, that’s just too damn bad, the Republicans seem to be saying.

An agreement which kept the government running until September reportedly angered the White House, as Trump had to take heat from the right flank of his party which suggested he had given Democrats everything they wanted while managing to not get a dime for his promised border wall. That frustration, Virginia GOP Congressman Dave Brat says, will be reflected in the 2018 budget:

“The critique last time was that we didn’t embed enough Trump agenda items into our budget. [Trump] made it clear it will be embedded in this budget. … And so people will see a process much more aligned with President Trump’s agenda in this forthcoming budget.”

Translation: More money for the Defense Department, more for a wall, and less for everything else, even if that means cutting out programs which benefit those who have served this country in combat.

Of course, all of this supposes that Trump will still be able to sign a budget if one is passed. Instead, he may be involved in the fight of his life as more revelations come out about his connections to Russia and the rigging of the 2016 election.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

Categories
Media in America Poverty

Fox News Host Apologizes For Bogus Report On Food Stamp Fraud (VIDEO)

On Friday, Fox News aired a report which alleged that food stamp fraud was at an all-time high. Host Abby Huntsman commented:

“Food stamp fraud is at an all-time high…This year, it is estimated $70 million of taxpayer money was wasted on food stamp fraud.”

$70 million! Wow, that’s a lot of money, and a lot of waste. That’s enough to make you very angry. But it also happens to be a complete lie.

The Department of Agriculture told the Washington Post:

“We are not quite sure where this came from. We saw that there was a story on Breitbart. We have not issued a report on this recently.”

Ironically, the most recent data shows that fraud in the food stamp program stands at 1.3 percent. If you apply that to the 2016 SNAP budget of about $70 billion, the amount spent in a fraudulent manner would actually turn out to be $910 million, which is over ten times as high as what Fox reported.

How did Fox respond? Surprisingly, Huntsman looked into the camera and announced:

“We reported that back in 2016, $70 million were wasted on food stamp fraud. That was actually incorrect.

“The latest information from 2009 to 2011 shows the fraud at 1.3%, which is approximately $853 million for each of those three years, and nationally food-stamp trafficking is on the decline. So sorry about that mistake.”

While it’s admirable that Fox corrected their mistake, please note that their new figure of $853 million is still below what the Agriculture Department says. So while Fox was right in saying how wrong they were, technically they were wrong the second time, too. But it’s Fox News. If they were accurate, we’d know something had gone very wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYXur0bcNWw

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org