When Shaun Donovan was Obama’s Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, he abandoned the idea of replacing office furniture in his department after learning the price exceeded authorization. Purchases above $5,000 need Congressional approval. He eventually made some upgrades and paid for it out of his own pocket. This was before Trump’s cabinet made corruption the new normal.
Ben Carson took another route. He ignored the law and spent $31,000 on a dining room set for his office. He claimed the furniture was dilapidated and dangerous. He even said some furniture had nails sticking out.
Later, Carson claimed he canceled the order after he discovered the price. Since Carson is a Republican, he was lying.
Emails between Carson’s wife, Candy, and subordinates show they weren’t just aware of the price, but were involved in selecting the furniture. Carson’s staff priced the furniture at $24,666 and spent another $7,000 on who-knows-what.
Later, Carson asked for more money for office portraits of former HUD secretaries and of himself at a cost of $25,000 per portrait. Maybe he can loan out the Buddy Christ portrait hanging in his house.
The good news is they’re buckling down on HUD’s budget. No, they’re not going to exercise thriftiness over where Ben and Candy plant their butts. Carson has proposed tripling the rent for low-income families on government assistance. He also wants to make it easier for housing authorities to raise work requirements. This will be tacked on to Trump’s executive order directing federal agencies to expand work requirements for low-income Americans receiving Medicaid, food stamps, public housing benefits and welfare.
House Republicans also made an increase to work requirements for people receiving welfare as part of their farm bill. The administration has also started allowing states to increase work requirements on residents enrolled for Medicaid.
It’s an asshole agenda.
Carson wants to raise rent for tenants on subsidized housing to 35% of their income. Carson also wants to kill the rules allowing deductions for medical and child-care costs when determining rent. Did I mention it’s an asshole agenda?
This will make you feel better; Sean Hannity, the Fox host who defends, advises, and dines with Trump while giving him policy advice while sharing a crooked lawyer/fixer, bought millions in real estate with mortgages insured by HUD. The properties were bought through 20 shell companies (so he could keep his identity a secret). Basically, Hannity is a welfare queen.
The Trump administration and Republicans gifted the richest one percent a huge tax break. Trump’s children received a huge tax break and relief in the money they’ll inherit from Daddy, and your kids are going to pay for it as it’s increasing the budget deficit by nearly two trillion dollars.
Tax cuts for the rich and corporations, cabinet officials’ swanky travel, Trump’s weekly golf retreats, and snooty office furniture for Ben is just fine as long as people working minimum wage jobs are here to pay for it. The only person receiving welfare who won’t pay for it is Sean Hannity.
They should keep Ben’s old furniture with the nails sticking out. I’d like to tell these Republicans to sit on it.
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