Thursday, January 22, 2004

Bush Cutting Holes in the Safety Net

An editorial in the January 20th New York Times warned that the Bush administration will target domestic "safety net" programs in its new proposed budget, due to be delivered to Congress next month. One of those programs is Sect. 8 housing subsidy vouchers administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In Watauga County more than 400 households receive Sect. 8 housing subsidies, according to Ned Fowler, director of the Northwest Regional Housing Authority, the local arm of HUD. More than 60 percent of those 400 households are single parents (overwhelmingly women) with young dependent children; slightly over 35 percent of those 400 households include elderly or disabled adults on fixed income. All 400 households qualify for the housing subsidy by meeting the federal definition of "extremely poor." In Watauga County, recipients of these housing vouchers make no more than 30 percent of the median county income. Many are trying to live on less than $7,000 per annum.

These are the people that Prez Bush has fingered to make up some of the difference in his deficit spending on a war in Iraq and huge tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Welcome to compassionate conservatism!

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