By Brook Rosenbaum
Columnist insensitive to homeless
While I applaud Eric Clingan's apparent concern for the well-being of Tucson as a whole, one has to question the ideas he puts forth for improving the environment in which we all live.
Certainly homelessness is one of society's most glaring problems. Mr. Clingan cites "liberal groups" as responsible for creating a less sordid sounding euphemism for what really are "Bums." I am sure that these "liberal groups" gladly shoulder the blame for changing the way we refer to these people. On the other hand, I wonder if Mr. Clingan is capable of reaching back into what for him must be days of fond memory and conservative bliss to find a cause for the explosion of the "Bum" problem.
I speak of course of the 1980s, when taxes were cut, the deficit ballooned, and oh yes, funding for many programs benefiting the mentally ill was slashed. The reasoning at the time was that private charities would reach out to these individuals and give them the care they need. I'll let Mr. Clingan guess just what did not happen. Many of these allegedly "unproductive, drug-abusing, filthy deviants" are members of this group who people like Mr. Clingan turned their backs upon more than a decade ago.
But now Mr. Clingan has a great idea. He wants to repent for the egregious miscarriage of social justice committed by his pals. Mr. Clingan wants to spend what would surely be millions of dollars to feed these individuals while they work to clean our streets. And I can't imagine that Mr. Clingan would want these hard-working members of society to have to sleep outdoors, so while I a sure that Mr. Clingan would want gladly offer his house for a good number of them, the rest would have housing provided for them. Since we would have gone that far, why not go ahead and provide medical care and job training for them so that they can increase their productivity? Sure this sort of program would be costly, but Mr. Clingan would proudly stand upon his soapbox to advocate the tax increase that would be necessary to implement his welfare package.
God bless you, Mr. Clingan. With conservatives like you, us liberals might find ourselves without opposition and the discarded members of society might get the help they so desperately deserve.