What we do know is sequestration would erase 9,700 Section 8 vouchers and $8.5 million in block grants that promote housing people can afford in the Garden State.
And it would reverse the trend of moving people with special needs — including those with mental illness and developmental disabilities — out of institutions and into community living.
Sequestration would harm New Jersey not just socially, but financially: More people would wind up in public institutions, ERs and jails. Blighted properties that could have been turned into affordable housing would remain eyesores and magnets for mischief.
The Star-Ledger editorial – Defense cuts and memories of N.J.’s moderate GOP – focused on a House vote “to cancel all cuts to the defense budget in the event the nation tumbles over the dreaded fiscal cliff next month, and to put the full weight of the cuts on domestic programs they seem to consider unimportant frills, such as food stamps and Medicaid.”
We concur with the Star-Ledger’s opinion:
It is especially disappointing that all but one of New Jersey’s Republican congressmen went along with this nonsense. A delegation that was once respected as independent and moderate has degraded into a gaggle of obedient ducklings, quacking the tea party line. They include U.S. Reps. Jon Runyan, Chris Smith, Scott Garrett, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen. Only U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo opposed the measure.
Our sole comfort is that the House bill will never become law, thanks to Democrats in the Senate. It’s merely symbolic — but what it symbolizes is appalling: an entrenched Republican view of the needy as career beggars, holding out their hands for government freebies.
With 9 days left until the fiscal cliff, we agree with Parker’s closing line:
“Our lawmakers must stop sequestration from taking effect and ensure that we continue on the path toward providing everyone with a safe, decent place to live.”