Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Ben Carson is close to finalizing his proposal to raise rates for people who receive assistance from the federal government.
According to the Associated Press, rates would increase by 20 percent ($700-$900 per year in some cases) for many residents under Carson's plan, and that's terrible, but I want to focus on why he's doing this.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Housing Secretary Ben Carson says his latest proposal to raise rents would mean a path toward self-sufficiency for millions of low-income households across the United States by pushing more people to find work. [...]
The proposal, which needs congressional approval, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to scale back the social safety net, under the belief that charging more for rent will prompt those receiving federal assistance to enter the workforce and earn more income. “It’s our attempt to give poor people a way out of poverty,” Carson said in a recent interview with Fox News.
Kicking someone out of their home is not a "path toward self-sufficiency" or a "way out of poverty." That is not how things work in the real world.
Most people who receive assistance from Carson's department have jobs and kicking them out of their homes will not magically create a better-paying job just for them. Kicking them out of their homes may actually cause them to lose their jobs and push even more people into poverty.
The idea that taking things away from people will miraculously lead to a sudden jump in earnings is something that only happens in ghost-written self-help books emblazoned with the names of people who are already rich.
I would say Carson should throw this proposal in the trash and call for a federal jobs program instead, but Carson and his Republican colleagues would reject that, too.
If there's any good news here, there's virtually no chance Carson's proposal will be approved by the Senate.