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August 17, 2023

Homelessness in Joe Biden’s America

Presidents don’t control everything, but an awful lot of blame for a growing crisis belongs on Biden’s desk.

“Only 36% of U.S. adults approve of [Joe] Biden’s handling of the economy,” reports the Associated Press. There are reasons that may not matter all that much in 2024, but it should. Because when there’s a huge increase in homelessness nationwide, something is greatly amiss with its leadership.

Before we get to that, let’s pause for a minute to mock the AP’s first graf: “President Joe Biden has devoted the past several weeks to promoting the positive impacts of his policies — but his efforts have yet to meaningfully register with the public.”

Oh, his efforts are registering alright. It’s just that most Americans know Bidenomics stinks and he’s full of [insert scatalogical reference].

Our evidence? Well, for this analysis, it’s that drastic increase in homelessness. Just this year, estimates are that the number of homeless has increased 11% over last year. That “sharp jump,” says the Wall Street Journal’s news division, “would represent by far the biggest recorded increase since the government started tracking comparable numbers in 2007.” It’s not even close, given that the next highest increase was 2.7%.

The Journal acknowledges that “point-in-time” numbers are likely an undercount, given how difficult it can be to locate homeless people and the fact that places like San Francisco and Seattle are yet to count anyone yet this year. More official numbers will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development later this year.

Obviously, it’s not all his fault, but what did Joe Biden do to make the problem worse?

For starters, it goes back to Bidenomics, which means massive government spending and heavy-handed regulation causing rampant inflation, which in turn yielded Federal Reserve actions to raise interest rates.

When it comes to home prices, the trouble then comes from every direction. Materials and labor to build homes cost a lot more, which shifts prospective buyers to look for existing homes. Increased demand puts pressure on supply, which drives up those prices to a new median of $441,000. Two-decade-high interest rates obviously add to the cost of buying an already more expensive home.

It’s not just home buyers being squeezed. Staying in your home costs far more than it did two years ago. Increased home values cause (sometimes drastically) increased insurance and property tax rates, which most people pay out of escrow with each month’s mortgage payment. If you own a home, you likely received notice that your mortgage payment is going up, maybe by hundreds of dollars a month.

Then there are utilities, all of which have increased in the last two years. Rates for electricity and natural gas have risen thanks to Biden’s war on energy, but water and sewer aren’t far behind.

Thanks, Joe.

But we’re not done. Fewer home buyers and owners means more renters, which again increases demand for a smaller supply, raising rent prices. Landlords just hope to recoup increased costs. Tenants are really struggling to keep up with median rents of $2,000 a month.

Put all that together and it’s no wonder there’s been a drastic increase in people just not living in a home anymore.

Of course, mental illness and drug abuse are at least as much of a factor as economic considerations. Indeed, homeless people used to be called vagrants, and we used to do otherwise than just let them set up a tent on a city sidewalk or unroll a sleeping bag at the local transportation station. Today, it’s considered more “compassionate” to not institutionalize people who probably ought to be. So, instead, schizophrenics and opioid addicts end up sleeping under bridges and yelling at clouds on public streets. It’s tragic, and it shouldn’t happen in America (or anywhere else).

Finally, there’s Biden’s border crisis, which has brought a massive influx of needy people with nowhere to live. Ask the sanctimonious blue cities and states now panicking under the weight of the crisis they invited. New York City alone reports more than 82,000 people in its shelter system. An LA hotel-to-homeless shelter conversion just sustained $11.5 million in damages from inhabitants. It’s not sustainable for either city.

Presidents aren’t in charge of creating jobs, setting wages, mandating home prices, or dealing with addictions. But Joe Biden pretends or actually tries to be in charge, and the results are clearly devastating.

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