US housing secretary proposes tripling of rent for the poor

from WSWS

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson’s “Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018,” unveiled last week, would spell destitution for the poorest households receiving federal rental assistance, virtually all of which have annual incomes of less than $7,000. Roughly 1.7 million people, including 1 million children, would face eviction and homelessness.

The typical household affected would be a single mother with two children, with an annual income of $2,400—or just $200 a month. After paying rent, under this proposal, the family would have only $48 left to pay for necessities like clothing, diapers, school supplies and food or medical needs not covered by other assistance.

The housing proposal would impose a mandatory tripling of the minimum rent for households with an adult younger than 65, to at least $152; raise rents from the current 30 percent to 35 percent of gross income; and allow local public housing authorities to impose work requirements on those receiving benefits.

Carson’s sadistic plan is only the latest in a series of attacks on the most vulnerable and impoverished Americans that are being proposed or carried out at the federal and state level. It follows an executive order by President Trump instructing the secretaries of six federal departments to seek out new ways to gut existing programs and impose work requirements for Medicaid, food stamps, home heating assistance, housing assistance and welfare benefits…

These punitive cuts come as corporate boardrooms across the country toast the “booming” economy and rising stockpiles of cash, now at an estimated record of some $2 trillion. Recent reports have shown median CEO pay at the nation’s 100 largest corporations rising to an 11-year high of $15.7 million, 235 times the pay of workers. Earlier this month the major Wall Street banks reported record profits for the first quarter of 2018…

[read more here]

US CEO pay, bank profits, corporate cash set new records

(This is neoliberal fascism and it is accelerating under the “CHANGE” presidency of Donald Trump)

by Barry Grey, WSWS

Across the United States, workers are being told by Democrats and Republicans alike that there is “no money” for decent wages, pensions or health care. Teachers from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona and other states are rebelling against near-poverty wages and years of school cuts only to be told by the politicians and union leaders that their demands are “unrealistic” and cannot be met.

But a series of reports on CEO pay, bank profits and corporate cash released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth. The Washington Post reported on Friday that, boosted by the tax cut for corporations and the rich passed in December, the biggest US firms “find themselves sitting on an Everest of cash,” with “profits pouring in faster than they can find productive ways to spend it.”

“As of the end of 2017,” the Post noted, “companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index were sitting on the largest cash pile in history: nearly $1.8 trillion.”

The windfall from the Trump tax cut, passed with no serious opposition from the Democrats, is not, contrary to the lies used to justify the law, going to create new, good-paying jobs and rebuild the country’s crumbing infrastructure. It is being used for stock buybacks, a parasitic squandering of the wealth produced by the labor of the working class to drive up stock prices and the portfolios of rich investors and corporate executives.

In February alone, US corporations announced a single-month record $150.7 billion in buybacks. They are expected to hit a new yearly record in 2018, surpassing the previous record of $589 billion set in 2007, the year before the Wall Street crash. Over the past 10 years, the American capitalist class has spent $5.1 trillion in stock buybacks.

To put this in perspective, the Oklahoma teachers, among the lowest-paid in the country, demanded $200 million in additional school funding to begin to address a decade of brutal cuts. The state government agreed to a mere $50 million, which the Oklahoma Education Association hailed as a “victory.”

The amount requested by the teachers represents a mere 0.01 percent of the cash being hoarded by US corporations…

[read more here]

California’s Homeless Problem in One Video

Angels stadium, Anaheim. along the Santa Ana River

And Cali lawmakers want to help Big Business some more by making it a sanctuary state and bringing in even more cheap labor.

Blind, epileptic and arthritic woman declared fit for work despite saying she cannot leave her home unaided

from the Independent

A blind, epileptic woman who told the Government she cannot leave her home without help, use a pen or make a cup of tea has been declared fit for work, it has been reported.

Hazel Macrae, 62, who also suffers from osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes, told assessors looking at her entitlement to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) that she would be unable to move safely in a workplace, according to Chronicle Live.

Now she has been judged to have “limited capability for work”, her payments have been reduced by £15 a fortnight and she must meet with a work coach, the newspaper reported.

Ms Macrae, of Walker in Newcastle upon Tyne, told the Chronicle: “There are no jobs that I can do. They have said that I can use my hands and I’m expected to apply for all jobs going.

“I can’t even make a cup of tea myself because of the boiling water.”

She has been placed in the work-related activity group category of claimants, but has appealed the ruling, the site said.

The Department for Work and Pensions said it planned to look again at Ms Macrae’s case…

[read more here]

Ady Barkan Discusses #GOPTaxScam

Trump White House preparing sweeping attack on the poor

(I was told today I have emphysema. I’ve known about my COPD for a while now but that was brought about by chronic bronchitis. This is something kind of new to me. A little depressing.)

by Patrick Martin from WSWS

The Trump administration is preparing a frontal assault on social programs for the poorest Americans, according to a report published Monday by the Politico web site. This would involve “the most sweeping changes to federal safety net programs in a generation, using legislation and executive actions to target recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing benefits,” the web site said.

“The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely,” Politico reported. “And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs.”

The executive order could be issued as soon as next month. It amounts to a political conspiracy against the poorest sections of the working class involving the White House, the congressional leadership and dozens of state governments, working together to slash spending on programs for the poor through a combination of direct benefit cuts, tightened eligibility standards and mistreatment of vulnerable families to drive as many as possible out of programs on which they now depend…

[read more here]

Economic Murder – Study Links 120,000 Deaths in the U.K. Directly to Their Neoliberal Austerity Measures

Govt accused of ‘economic murder’ as study links Tory austerity to 120,000 health & social care deaths https://ind.pn/2mwjReI

But it’s not like there isn’t already a precedent set for this, now it is?

Funny isn’t it how monsters kill the poor with impunity and a sense of self righteous entitlement and our dear liberal class still loves and respects them and even brags about inviting them into their homes for tea and crumpets.

You down with the sickness?