Despite the president having come into office promising to look out for the “forgotten” men and women of the United States, Donald Trump and his allies have undercut the position of those very people since formally coming to power last year.
This week, there is yet another example of this trend in the form of a legislative proposal from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, who himself is a former Republican primary opponent of the current commander-in-chief.
The Washington Post obtained a copy of the proposal before its official unveiling, and it includes a striking plan to triple rents paid by low income Americans on federal housing assistance. The change would lift the cap on rents charged to such individuals from its present level of 30 percent of adjusted income to a new level of 35 percent of gross income or 35 percent of earnings garnered from working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage.
In practice, that would raise the cap from about $50 to about $150 a month for the poorest families currently receiving federal housing assistance. The change, according to The Post, is poised to affect some 4.5 million families across the United States.
The proposal would also “encourage work” on the part of federal housing assistance recipients. It comes just months after the president signed a tax reform package into law that has been widely criticized for allegedly strengthening the position of the upper class at the expense of lower class Americans. The new proposal from HUD Secretary Ben Carson is the latest confirmation that such is the way the Trump administration prefers to operate.
Besides the rent cap increase, Carson’s department would also like to see the deductions that poor families can claim when determining rent slashed. Deductions like those for child and medical care would be eliminated.
Imagine thinking that it’s a good idea to slash deductions that the poorest people in the United States can claim when figuring out how much rent they’ll have to pay in order to stay off the streets. Imagine thinking that it’s fitting to, while slashing the tax burden of members of the upper class by large margins, burden the poorest people in the United States with even the slightest extra costs just to get by.
President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition Diane Yentel stated what’s essentially the obvious and commented:
‘When we are in the middle of a housing crisis that’s having the most negative impact on the lowest income people, we shouldn’t even be considering proposals to increase their rent burdens.’
Mind you, this proposal comes after Carson faced wide criticism for his office having ordered a new dining furniture set for $31,000. (That order was eventually cancelled.)
It’s as if they’re trying to put up the biggest metaphorical middle finger possible towards America’s poor. There’s little other way to describe it. Let’s have Carson, who had no public service experience before joining up with the government, live for a year on the income of America’s poorest families and then see what he has to say.
Featured Image via Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images