It is Sunday and so time to grade the Administration and their fight against poverty. Maybe I am still numb because of the loss of David Westcott or just feeling generous, but I am giving the administration an A this week. This is the first time that the Administration has reached the A territory.
The budget is the most important statement of priorities made by an Administration. It sets down in writing the direction for the country and the areas in which the administration is willing to put funding. It is the road map for government and sets the tone for future discussions. There is the bully pulpit, but the budget is about action.
This 2010 budget has a lot to be praised with regard to housing and poverty issues.
- An increase in the HUD budget including an increase in the housing voucher program.
- An increase in the Department of Veterans Affairs going specifically to health care.
- Obama actually allocates money to the Federal Housing Trust Fund for the first time.
- Modernizes the rules for disability benefits (which we hope will shorten the waiting period).
- Increases the number of Social Security workers to process claims.
- Improves the student loan system in order to allow more people to attend college.
- The budget dramatically increases the number of National Service members who will be deployed in communities to address homelessness and poverty.
Now they have to go out and make this all happen. I do not understand the middle class task force that the Vice President is leading. But overall it was a good week for fighting poverty. We are now in solid B territory as a cumulative grade for the administration. Next week we will review the areas that the Administration needs to concentrate to stay in the A range.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.