Friday, November 21, 2003
Task Forcing The Homeless

After disparaging the use of task forces (see RiaF, 10/30/2003), Willard Mitt yesterday accepted the results from one of the first blue ribbon panels he put in motion several months ago, his Task Force on Homelessness. Solution? Create another task force.

The Fraud Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness and Housing will focus on solving the problem of homelessness in the Bay State. (source: Office of the (Fraud) Governor, “Romney creates permanent homelessness & housing council,” 11/20/2003) 'Focus on solving'; that's what we call a professional qualifier.

As a sign that Romney views the Council’s mission as hopeless, he appointed lightweight Lieutenant Governor Sherry Kerry Healey council chair.

Healey immediately proved herself incapable by stating that “(Fraud) Governor Romney and I fought to preserve full funding for homeless programs during this year's fiscal crisis. We view assistance to the homeless as a core function of government that, to the extent possible, should not be compromised, even in bad fiscal times.”

Sure. So why did you cut the Affordable Housing Trust Fund by $7.5 million in FY2003 and by $20 million in FY2004? (source: chapa.org) Yes, the Senate later reestablished the Fund’s monies. (source: macdc.org) But Sherry Kerry doesn't work for the Senate. (Heck, she barely works for the executive branch!)

Of course, Romney/Healey would likely claim that as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund does not include the word “homelessness” in its title, it is not a homelessness program. However, housing experts long ago agreed that cuts to the Trust retard the construction of new affordable housing units, ergo, negatively impact the homeless. (source: SHNS, 1/30/2003)

This is not to say that Romney has not had an impact on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. In the past, the Fund received a straight budgetary appropriation. Romney, however, convinced lawmakers to fund the Trust with bonded monies. In other words, he turned a cash program into debt. (source: chapa.org)

What was it Romney/Healey, Inc said last year about debt? “There’s a lot of blame to go around for our high level of debt.” (source: Bill Vernon, Romney2002.com, 9/20/2002)

Maybe that can be fodder for Team Reform’s next task force.


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