Today's outrage stems from a glowing news story about a woman who is overjoyed because she gets to move back into public housing four years after being forced out by Hurricane Katrina.
For nearly four years, Josephine Butler has been commuting from Baton Rouge to her job at the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board.
But soon, her commute will drop to 10 minutes, as Butler, 37, and her two daughters move into a new apartment in Central City at the site of the former C.J. Peete public housing development, now renamed Harmony Oaks.
Within a few weeks, workers will put the final touches on her apartment and 20 others that will open within the next few months.
Two years after local officials and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development demolished four of the city's biggest public housing complexes, Butler will become one of the first residents to return to a rebuilt apartment.
She said she likes the new, modern look of the rebuilt apartments. She's also "happy, overjoyed and ecstatic" once again to be near her mother, her aunts and her 80-year-old grandmother, who has been sick.
"No more long commute rides," she said. "And I'll be able to see my (extended) family on a daily basis." Essentially, after nearly five years, she is getting her life back, she said.
How many things can you see wrong here? Let's make a list.
1. The woman is 37 years old and has always lived in public housing.
2. She has a job--a city job that presumably pays well--but rather than pay her own rent, we, the taxpayers, have to subsidize her...and the picture of her new apartment shows a flat-screen tv on the wall and some pretty trendy artworks. Yet we have to pay her rent?
3. She has two kids, but there's no mention of the fathers or any indication that they're paying child support.
4. Her mother, her aunts, her grandmother--basically her whole extended family--also live in public housing, again with no reference to any men paying the bills or supporting any kids. And rather than expressing shame, this woman is gleeful that now they can all be together again...in public housing.
Where is the desire to succeed without someone else having to carry you and pay your "essential" bills (while you buy nice things with "your own" money)? And why are the politicians so quick to demand my money to pay for nice new things for the people who don't want to live efficiently enough to afford their own nice things?
I have no problem helping people out who need help, but I'm talking short-term, bare-essential help. If someone needs a place to stay for a month or two while they get back on their feet and start working, I have no problem with that. But why do I and the other people with jobs--the ones who didn't drop out of school or go out and have multiple kids with deadbeat dads--have to buy the ones who made those poor choices brand new aprtments that are nicer than many of the places that we taxpayers live?
I will never forget when I lived in New Orleans. My apartment--that I paid for myself--did not have air conditioning. It was awful in the summer. But what was worse was walking past the nearby public housing projects every day on my way to school and seeing air conditioners humming in every unit's windows, usually while able-bodied young men sat on the stoops during normal working hours and watched all of the suckers--I mean workers--going by all day. And I didn't have air conditioning but I was being taxed to pay for theirs. And now those same crummy projects are gone, but they've been replaced by brand new units and the same people that lived in them before have just stooged around for four years waiting to get back in, because only suckers pay for their own stuff.
And perhaps the worst part is that this public housing rip-off even comes with taxpayer-funded caseworkers like Debbie Holmes, who has kept in touch with the former residents of the projects, even those who were relocated to other states years ago, so that she can try to bring them back to take up occupancy of these nice new apartments.
So let me see if I get this straight...
The biggest need is jobs, said Holmes, who estimates that roughly 60 percent of the residents she talks with are living and working in the New Orleans area but the rest are still displaced, from California to Texas and Georgia, she said. Many are certified nursing assistants, but she also has been scrambling to find positions for residents with experience in child care, social services, schools and hotels, she said.
New Orleans needs taxpayer-funded public housing because there is a shortage of affordable housing in the area. But when the housing gets built, rather than use it to alleviate the so-called shortage, they reach out and spend more taxpayer money to bring in other welfare recipients--uh, I mean "job seekers" from out of state? WTF?!
Meanwhile, the party goes on, and the freeloaders move into the nice new places that they aren't paying much if anything for, and they're moving their nice furniture, their expensive TV's and entertainment systems, and usually their boyfriends right in, too, all while laughing at the other people out there who go to work every day in order to be taxed to pay for these nice new digs.Central air, and as nice as anyplace that people with actual jobs live in...because we should all have the same nice stuff even if we don't work and can't afford it ourselves, right?
Remember the old saying: "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul." This is exactly why I say that people like Josephine Butler who choose to live in public housing shouldn't be allowed to vote. If she and all of her freeloading relatives and neighbors could not elect politicians, then I suspect that the politicians would be a lot more responsive to the will of and the tax burdens imposed on the voters who actually earn their own money and want to keep it.