From Volume 36, Issue 45 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 20, 2009

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Homelessness in the U.S.: A Human Rights Abuse

Nov. 12 (EIRNS)—Although no agency of the U.S. government keeps track of the number of the homeless, with increasing unemployment and foreclosures, the number of homeless continues to grow to the point that the problem has become an international scandal and human rights abuse.

On Veterans Day, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) cited a newly released 2008 report by Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG), which found that between one-fourth and one-fifth of homeless persons in America are military veterans. On any given night across the U.S., there are approximately 131,000 homeless veterans. The Veterans Administration estimates that over the course of the year, 336,627 veterans experienced homelessness. Schumer said that out of the 988,217 veterans living in New York state alone, an estimated 14,132 are homeless.

The London Guardian reports that on any given night in Los Angeles, about 17,000 families with children are homeless. L.A. has experienced an 18-fold increase in housing foreclosures. Evictions from owned and rented homes have risen tenfold, with 62,400 people forced out last year in Los Angeles County.

Raquel Rolnik, the UN Special Rapporteur for the right to adequate housing, has completed a seven-city tour of the United States. Rolnik, who will submit a final report to the UN Human Rights Council early next year, said, at the conclusion of her fact-finding mission: "The housing crisis is invisible for many in the U.S. I learned through this visit that real affordable housing and poverty is something that hasn't been dealt with as an issue...."

Rolnik toured Chicago, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., as well as the Indian reservation at Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

Obama Ordered to Focus on Deficit, Carry Out 'Institutional Insurrection'?

Nov. 13 (EIRNS)—In the wake of public statements by OMB head Peter Orszag, and in the midst of the buildup of new hysteria about the U.S. budget deficit, Washington leak sheets like Politico have begun to put out the line that President Obama is going to shift his focus to "solving the deficit" by the time of the 2010 State of the Union. This is a recipe for not only total incompetence, but genocidal austerity.

A precursor was given at Senate Budget Committee hearings held on Nov. 10, where numerous Senator voiced their commitment for Congress to commit suicide. The hearing involved both Senate and House members, and outside "experts," to plot using the necessity for Congress to extend the national debt limit (which must be done in December), to force through Congressional approval of a special Commission which would dictate brutal cuts in entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans' benefits. The Commission would dictate budget cuts and tax increases which an emasculated Congress could only vote up or down as a package—no amendments, no adjustments, no exercising of Congress's constitutional role to deliberate and legislate on matters of taxation and expenditures.

In other words, an IMAC-style oversight board for all national vital services.

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