One of Seattle’s major network affiliates has uncovered an explosively revealing report that shows the city last year spent more than $53 million on homelessness, including $20 million that was used for emergency and shelter services.
KOMO, the local ABC affiliate, reported that as the Seattle City Council continues debating a proposed “head tax” on big business to pay for even more homeless programs, only six percent of the people who used the emergency services found permanent housing.
Local conservative talk host John Carlson at KVI on Tuesday contended that Seattle’s homeless policies are actually attracting homeless people from all over the country to migrate to the Jet City.
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In the midst of what many call a “homeless crisis,” some neighborhoods where homeless camps have sprung up are complaining about increased crime.
And socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, in an exchange with KCPQ, the local Fox News affiliate, had a message for homeowners who have been “negatively impacted.”
“I think a lot of ordinary people who own homes, who are renting, are being impacted by, you know, they are being impacted by increased incidences of house break-ins and car break-ins — my own car was broken into — but if you want a real solution to the problem you are worried about, then it’s not going to be solved by blaming homeless people.”—Kshama Sawant
So, who do the affected homeowners blame?
According to the KCPQ story, “Sawant says year after year the city and the mayor’s office has (sic) spent millions and it hasn’t solved homelessness.”
But according to critics, the city’s homeless programs have certainly increased the homeless problem, without discouraging any of the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 homeless people.
The “head tax” could raise about $75 million, according to published estimates. The Kitsap Sun noted that the heaviest hit would fall on Amazon, which is currently the city’s largest employer with about 45,000 employees. At $500 a pop for each worker, that’s a lot of money the city wants to take from a business to spend on people who don’t work, critics argue.
Amazon has countered by halting construction on a new 17-floor building, possibly sending a signal to the city that it could take its business elsewhere. People tired of Seattle’s rush to the political left chortled at the notion, saying it would teach the city council a lesson about economics and politics. It would be a text book illustration of “Money walks while B.S. talks.”
Seattle has toyed with a city income tax and other taxes to raise money for its social programs, resulting in even more criticism from taxpayers and small business owners.