by Nick Stone of Drawnlines Politics.
New York, New York. If you can’t make it there, they’ll send you anywhere according to CBS News’s Katie Couric.
It would be a great joke, except it’s not that funny in this context.
Mayor Bloomberg has instituted a program in New York City to combat the massive homelessness problem. His solution: send them out of the city. Literally buy the homeless a one way ticket on an airline to anywhere but New York.
Frankly, that’s genius! Let’s give credit where it’s due.
ABC News reports that according to Bloomberg, the sticker shock that might surprise some for $2,500 plane tickets to South Africa or thousands of dollars to France actually saves the taxpayers money when compared to the financial burden of up to $36,000 to shelter a homeless family for a year.
Still, the plan (which has been in effect since 2007) has its critics in the same article:
Some advocates for the homeless criticize the program because they believe the mayor is motivated by a political desire to reduce the city’s record rates of homelessness.
“All we’re really doing is arguably shifting the problem to another municipality,” said President and CEO for Partnership for the Homeless Arnold Cohen.
Mayor Bloomberg fired back against criticism of the program, though he claims the city only ships out the homeless that: 1) want to go, and 2) have a place to live waiting for them on the other end.
The New York Times (not a conservative news source by any means) quoted the mayor’s defense:
“I don’t know, when they get to the other places, whether they find jobs,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “It may be an easier place for them. If we don’t — we either have two choices. We can do this program or pay an enormous amount of money daily to provide housing.”
You said a mouthful, Mister Mayor. Please just do me one favor. Ship as few as possible to Florida. We’ve yet to develop a “pay it forward” version of your genius solution. When we learn how to pass the buck as well as you have, we’ll have our people call you.