Raining Hellfire from Government

Raining Hellfire from Government

I woke up this morning to a news alert that the bipartisan deal to salvage the Children’s Health Insurance Program, protect our young Dreamers from deportation, give Trump some money for his wall, and keep our federal government open for business had failed to pass our United States Congress. Like most Americans I was disgusted by this news. Its economic impact could be devastating and that means vulnerable people get hurt…badly hurt.

All of us were told in school that government is of, by, and for the people, and we are a compassionate people. When government is used as a club to bully our neighbors we must come together and demand change. 

Yesterday I listened carefully and took notes as our County Executive briefed our delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on challenges facing county government. As he read the statistics about our skyrocketing median income and commercial growth I thought about the teachers with 40 kids in a classroom and the county corrections officers working sixteen hour shifts. I wondered if he would mention that developers had built so many luxury homes that their values were declining, and that maybe that bill he supported to ban workforce housing from most zoning districts was a mistake. Why didn’t he mention that we have a growing population of people with family incomes below $25,000?

County Executive Schuh did, however, share some views on undocumented workers, gangs, and homeless people.

Undocumented workers in our county, he said, “Should return to their country of origin.” That is a stark departure from the position taken by Ronald Reagan, George Bush, John McCain and what we now consider the compassionate conservative wing of the Republican Party. They all supported a path to citizenship.

Rather than presenting a plan to increase opportunities for young people to engage constructively in our communities, Mr. Schuh promised us that he would be “raining hellfire” down on gangs. I trust that our police officers will continue their outstanding community policing efforts rather than following Mr. Schuh’s advice.

Rent and housing prices both increased by 100% in our county in the last decade, so it’s not surprising that we have people living in shelters and on the streets. Mr. Schuh described efforts to get “treatment” for homeless people, as though it were a disease rather than an absence of affordable housing options, and pledged that those who remained homeless would be shown “tough love.” He said that county government would “give them bus fare to return to their families or their place of origin.” I don’t think I need to comment on the potential effectiveness of that strategy to end homelessness.

There is a new group of politicians, at both the federal and local levels, that are behaving like bullies.  They are using the tools of government against the most vulnerable people among us. They need to be replaced, and 2018 is a good year to start.

Posted on 20 Jan 2018, 01:03 - Category: Campaign News

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By Authority of Friends of Steuart Pittman, VIrginia Clagett Treasurer
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