The Kindness of Strangers?

homeless USA

I was channel surfing last evening and watched the Supreme Court’s new case concerning homeless encampments etc. What got me was how the government’s lawyer kept explaining how the homeless situation was being handled. HIs retort was that NGOs ( Non Governmental Organizations) have been unsuccessful  in giving the necessary ‘ Helping hand’ to this burgeoning crisis throughout our nation, especially in most cities. Duh, is it me or isn’t it the responsibility of Uncle Sam to use our tax dollars to help satisfy the needs of our homeless? The justices all acknowledged that many of our nation’s homeless are mentally ill individuals, discounting to some extent the millions of others who just cannot afford to pay for shelter. Well, think about this: How many of us who do not own a home can actually afford the outrageous rents the ‘ Land Lord’ charges? I say ‘ Land Lord’ because the term comes from feudalism when the ‘ Lord of the manor’ owned the rental property for his serfs . Go and get the fine Claude Berri 1993 French film Germinal and see how this feudal arrangement played out. Disgusting!

The case at issue for this Supreme Court is ‘The City of Grants Pass vs. Johnson’. Via the internet this is a thumbnail of the case:

The legal issue is whether they can fine or arrest people for sleeping outside if there’s no shelter available. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has deemed this cruel and unusual punishment, and this case is a pivotal challenge to that ruling.

The high court declined to take up a similar case in 2019. But since then, homelessness rates have climbed relentlessly. Street encampments have grown larger and have expanded to new places, igniting intense backlash from residents and businesses. Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing that’s helping to drive it have become key issues for many voters.

 So, even the mainstream media is realizing how terrible the homeless situation is. Who gets hurt, in addition to someone who becomes homeless, but the local community? No one wishes to see so many poor souls out in the open, or hidden within the brush, to fend for themselves. Funny how the court does all it can to ‘ dance around’ the solution.

For all those good religious folks who attend their places of worship and echo that we are all ‘Our brother’s keeper’, do something about it! Start telling your wonderful (yeah, right) elected officials to start increasing the taxing of the Super Rich AKA Mega Millionaires and Billionaires. When JFK took office the top federal income tax rate was 90%. Over the years it dropped downto 78% ,71%, 50% all the way down to 39% and now at 37%. Do you think perhaps that our Super Rich fellow Americans have it damn good now? You bet your $ 1,000,000 and up home or shall I call it ‘ Estate’? My plan, the Farruggio Millionaire Flat Surtax Plan, would generate many of the funds needed to not only build affordable housing, but help treat the millions of mentally ill fellow citizens who cannot get the care needed to exist properly. My plan is to have a flat surtax of 50% on any income over $ 1 million dollars, with NO deductions…period! The first $ one million would be taxed at the present rate, with any and all deductions allowed now. The other money would go directly to Uncle Sam to subsidize the homeless and mentally ill… or both. Do you think it is unreasonable for someone now earning $5 or $10 million ( or a few $billion) a year to keep HALF that money TAX FREE?

On top of that teepee we need to stop the 50% of our discretionary spending that goes for our War Industries. How about spending 25% and use the remainder of the hundreds of billions of dollars saved to be directed for other social net needs? President Eisenhower, in his farewell address, called it what it was then and still is, a Military Industrial Complex. And the way it has always worked is simple, just ‘ Follow the money’. The House of Representatives just passed another bill for $95 billion for aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Some estimates are that about half of that money is going into the pockets of US weapons manufacturers and other assorted War related businesses. During the Vietnam debacle whenever a Huey helicopter was destroyed the manufacturer,

Bell Helicopter, sold another one to Uncle Sam for $ 1 million. In the kill zone of Iraq in 2003 on a US Apache Helicopter cost Uncle around $30 million. Today, these vehicles can run from $60 million to over $130 million… of your tax dollars for more of our phony wars and aggressions. How many homeless and or mentally ill Americans can an Apache subsidize?

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on itstheempirestupid website. He is also frequently posted on Countercurrents, Dissident Voice and the Nation of Change Blogs. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 500 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid ‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at [email protected].

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