Economic Forecaster: ‘The Public Sector Is a Welfare Program’

Homeless encampment under a bridge in Venice, California | Image by mikeledray/Shutterstock
Homeless encampment under a bridge in Venice, California | Image by mikeledray/Shutterstock

Economic forecaster and blogger Martin Armstrong says that California’s homeless crisis shows that the public sector is a welfare system and a political tool.

Armstrong cited a report recently released by the California auditor’s office as evidence that California’s programs intended to tackle the homelessness crisis have been ineffective. Nine agencies have received $24 billion in taxpayer funding over the last six years, but despite the spending, homelessness has increased in California, which has the largest population of homeless persons in the U.S.

A January 2023 point-in-time snapshot revealed that California had 181,399 people experiencing homelessness, with 123,423 — 68% — living outside unsheltered.

Los Angeles reported 46,000 unhoused people in the city in a December 5 analysis, although the municipality only has 16,100 temporary housing beds.

Since 2015, homelessness in California has surged by 56.7%. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated funds to smaller state entities so that these funds could be used to assist the homeless. However, the audit report revealed that the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH), which coordinated with these programs, failed to track the funds’ usage, according to Armstrong.

More alarmingly, the audit reported a complete absence of data collection methods to assess the success of these initiatives, raising serious concerns about accountability.

“The audit could ‘not determine the cost-effectiveness’ of any of the programs funded by HUD through Cal ICH as they have ‘not collected complete outcome data for this program, and the expenditure data it has collected may be unreliable,'” Armstrong opined. This means that the federal government permitted the state of California to squander $24 BILLION in taxpayer funds in a mere five years.”

Armstrong pointed out that executives who work at these non-profit tax-exempt agencies combating homelessness are paid millions per year despite their failure to eliminate the homeless crisis.

The audit concludes that the state needs to hold these agencies accountable and implement a reporting standards system.

“To promote transparency, accountability, and effective decision‑making related to the State’s efforts to address homelessness, Cal ICH should request that state agencies responsible for administering state‑funded homelessness programs provide spending‑ and outcome‑related information for people entering, experiencing, and exiting homelessness,” the audit stated.

Homelessness is a major issue in many parts of the country, including in the city of Dallas. A poll previously conducted by The Dallas Express shows that more than 75% of Dallas residents do not approve of the levels of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling in their city.

Cities across the country have implemented various plans to tackle homelessness. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, San Antonio adopted a “one-stop-shop” approach to combating homelessness, which has been credited with a 77% reduction in the city’s downtown unsheltered homeless population. The model has polled favorably among Dallas residents; however, it is uncertain if the City of Dallas will try a similar approach.

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