by Fred Kammer, SJ JD
In the first Reagan Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, the Administration and Congress raised the rent on every elderly, disabled, blind, and poor resident in any kind of federally subsidized housing unit by 20% (phased in over five years)—from 25% of residents’ income to 30%. It was only one of many ways in which the lives of the “least among us” were savaged in the budget bill.
“I am your voice!” That is the declaration Donald Trump made to struggling Americans as he accepted the Republican nomination for President in July. Trump maintained and built upon that message throughout his unconventional campaign. He repeatedly promised working class voters that he would create an economy in which they could thrive, and it was on that message (among others) that he won the presidency.
The Affordable Housing Crisis in the Gulf South
BY JEANIE DONOVAN, M.P.A., M.P.H.
by Jeanie Donovan, MPA, MPH
A ten year retrospective - Part 1
by Fred Kammer, SJ
by Alí Bustamante
Recently the Annie E. Casey Foundation updated its Kids Count Data Book, which measures and ranks the wellbeing of children across the U.S. Louisiana ranked 48th among the 50 states in overall childhood wellbeing, the state’s lowest ranking since the Kids Count rankings began in 2012. Only New Mexico and Mississippi ranked lower than Louisiana this year, 49th and 50th respectively. The rest of the Gulf South also performed poorly, Alabama ranked 45th, Texas 41st, and Florida 37th.
by Alí Bustamante, M.A.
Since June 2014, the average price of a barrel of oil has fallen from more than $100 to about $50. Many states, including those in the Gulf South, are considering budget cuts to higher education, healthcare, and social services in order to deal with oil revenue shortfalls. But is the oil revenue shortfall really the culprit? Contrary to what state budget offices profess, pressure to public services stems from the inadequacy and regressive nature of tax structures and not from oil revenue shortfalls.
by Alex Mikulich, Ph.D.
The question of the “State of the Dream” is often raised at annual celebrations of the Martin Luther King Holiday. I heard the question yet again at a recent panel discussion held at Dillard University. Dominant U.S. society, I responded, has never embraced Dr. King’s “Dream” or the goals of the March on Washington.
The opportunity to enact the “Dream” still stands before us. There are many ways we can enact the Dream, one of which is raising the minimum wage to the level demanded by the March on Washington on March 28, 1963.
Recently, a representative of Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans asked me this question from the archbishop, “How much does it cost to live in New Orleans these days?” It was a question that had haunted me as an employer in the years immediately after Katrina as reports and rumors mixed together about rising prices of food, housing, utilities, and other basics.
<p class="e2ma-p-div">Louisiana's $1 Billion Giveaway</p>
<p class="e2ma-p-div">Giveaways cost the U.S. taxpayers $50 billion a year</p>
by Fred Kammer, S.J.
The New Orleans Advocate, in an eight-part report, has highlighted the burgeoning practice of creating tax-breaks (“tax incentives,” “tax loopholes,” “tax expenditures”) that now cost Louisiana $1.08 billion dollars a year. Legislatures create these benefits purportedly to induce businesses to locate in a state or expand there. Two examples from The Advocate illustrate these incentives: