Monday, February 20, 2006

Big Rich And His Welfare Kings


Remember when Ronald Reagan went berserk and started accusing 'Welfare Queens's' (ie. black, inner city single Moms) of milking the system and driving around downtown Dee-troit City and Chicago in Cadillac's?

Well, it may have helped Mr. Reagan win over the base and an election, but that doesn't mean it was true.

In fact, it was pure, pre-Rovian (read: Atwater/Deaver) codswallop:

Conservative politicians have a talent for telling memorable anecdotes that capture the essence of their beliefs on any particular issue. One of the most enduring of these came from Ronald Reagan on the subject of welfare. He cited a Chicago "Welfare Queen" who had ripped off $150,000 from the government, using 80 aliases, 30 addresses, a dozen social security cards, and four fictional dead husbands. The country was outraged; Reagan dutifully promised to roll back welfare; and ever since, the "Welfare Queen" driving her "Welfare Cadillac" has become permanently lodged in American political folklore.

Unfortunately, like most great conservative anecdotes, it wasn't really true. The media searched for this welfare cheat in the hopes of interviewing her, and discovered that she didn't even exist.

So, what does this historical bit of neo(lithic)con flim-flammery have to do with our own present day 'Lord of the Range', Mr. Rich Coleman?

Well, it looks like, now that he has already won over the base and the election, that he is ready to start makin' himself his own passel of 'Welfare Kings'.

Which has nothing to do with down-and-outers, or cheatin' heart cowboy songs.

Instead, it looks like Big Rich is ready to go large and start forking out the cash to those amongst his constituency that need it most.

Which, according to Sean Holman and Frances Bula would be, in a word - Landlords:

Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun

Published: Friday, February 17, 2006

Housing Minister Rich Coleman appears poised to introduce a dramatic change in how the B.C. government helps people with housing, a move that is making housing groups, poverty advocates and some city politicians nervous.

On the other side, associations representing private apartment owners and landlords are optimistic and excited that their years of lobbying for a rent-subsidy system may finally be bearing fruit.

Coleman refuses to give details about the plan, which he told The Vancouver Sun will be released in 30 to 60 days, except to say that it will be "very innovative," "very exciting" and something that will kick off a much-needed debate about better ways to provide housing.

I'm telling y'all. The hot air and fetid wind generated by the spin from this one is going hit us with hurricane force come March.

Because, if this is true, what these people really mean to do is to put an end to social housing in the province of British Columbia forever.

Of course, Vancouver Mayor, Smilin' Sammy-James Sullivan, is sure to love it. In fact it appears that councillor Heather Deal has heard hear the trumpets start to blare at 12th and Cambie already.

"My concern is that Mayor (Sam) Sullivan seems to be open to this idea (of shifting focus to rent supplements). And it's just not on, as far as we're concerned. It doesn't work in Vancouver. There are certain specific instances where it has worked. But there's no replacement for subsidized housing."



No comments: