Editorial: A fact check on Rick Caruso’s magical thinking about L.A. homelessness
The last time we reviewed an issue of City Journal, it was about how the City Council had cut its own budget in the face of impending layoffs. Then we learned that some council members apparently didn’t know they were voting themselves more than $100 million in salary and benefits for all 12 members of their current committee. And that the council had, with barely more than a week to go before the end of its term, authorized a bond issue of up to $5.5 billion to repair and rebuild downtown.
All of those issues had a lot of “spin” to it, as City Journal editors pointed out then and this time out.
This issue brings some new issues to the City’s front burner, issues that do not have the spin that accompanies the City’s current budget decisions. This time, we’re going to review the issue most commonly addressed by the City Council as a reason for its ongoing budget shortfall: homelessness.
A fact check on “Rick Caruso’s magical thinking”
We have mentioned at City Hall in the past that the City Council is a group of self-involved, me-first politicians who put far too much importance on themselves and their position at City Hall, and far too low on the people who work to keep the community healthy and vibrant. It is not difficult to find those who agree with this assessment.
But in spite of this fact of themselves, the City Council has a habit of doing some things that benefit the homeless, who, as City Hall has found out, don’t necessarily want or need their services.
In spite of this unfortunate reality, the City Council has repeatedly acted to expand a law that would grant them more power to give these homeless services without any evidence that homeless people would feel that they need or want it.
As City Council members have explained in interviews over the last few weeks, they see homeless services as a major area of potential revenue, and they want the law to give them more power to collect it. The city will need more money from taxpayers to fill the $42.8 million budget shortfall, according to the city’s own projections, but because Council members like Council