By: Diane Benjamin
Last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting was over 3 hours, it included a Township meeting that started at 5:00. The longest discussion was about the Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Stop for a second and think about this program. The Feds take your money in taxes, launder it through channels to the appropriate federal office where more bureaucrats decide how to redistribute it across the country after plans are submitted by local bureaucrats leading to more bureaucrats approving the plans. Money finally lands in the hands of local bureaucrats who redistribute it to other organizations after they submit applications the local bureaucrats have to approve. It finally gets to assist whoever gets to the money first, after paying even more salaries. (Yes, I used run-on sentences on purpose)
The City of Bloomington thinks it will receive $3,120,114 over 5 years plus $329,114 in additional money via the CARES ACT. Since this money doesn’t exist it further increases the deficit spending.
After mostly Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill asked numerous minutia questions starting around 1:30:00, Tari Renner finally stated at 1:50:25 technical questions should have been asked in advance instead of during a Public Hearing. Both obviously thought money should go directly to people, even those without social security numbers, instead of to landlords, mortgage holders, official day car providers, utilities, etc. CDBG funds can not be paid directly to people, it must be paid to who people owe.
Public Comment about the funds started at 1:54:00 with a retired Holy Trinity priest, Doug Hennessy. He started by saying he is a member of IPA – that would be the socialists Illinois People’s Action. He thinks taking federal money to meet the needs of the locals is in the best tradition of our country. 5 other speakers followed, all IPA members with similar comments. This is the “government needs to take care of us crowd” that doesn’t understand government is the worst avenue for efficiently getting help to people. (hence the run-on sentences above) I am appalled a minister believes this is the “Judeo-Christian tradition”.
Father Hennessy must have missed the parable of the Good Samaritan. Two men of faith passed by a crime victim along the road, an outcast among Jews had compassion and took care of him – even spending his own money. Jesus asked who acted as neighbor and showed compassion, then he stated “Go and do likewise”. Jesus didn’t say get the money from Jerusalem or Rome and hand it out to the needy.
Contrast this with the discussion that followed concerning Eastview Christian Church asking for an alley so they can expand parking to better serve the west side of Bloomington. All Eastview asked for was waiving the $9,073.44 value of the alley, it would cost the City more to maintain it.
Eastview didn’t have to locate a second church in west Bloomington. They did it to serve the residents. Listen to why they purchased that property several years ago at 2:17:00.
Who is the real Good Samaritan?
If Bloomington residents refuse to vote early next year the Council will be filled with social justice socialist warriors. If good candidates refuse to run the results will be the same.
The only other interesting part was Tari at 1:29:20. Jamie Mathy had asked if down-payment assistance to purchase a house was part of the plan. It isn’t. Tari then stated homeowners get to participate in middle-class welfare by deducting mortgage interest and insurance etc from their income taxes. Tari must not realize that tax reform increased the Standard Deduction making it unnecessary for most taxpayers to itemize. Insurance was never deductible. Those reforms also limited the amount of interest and property taxes that can be deducted because low tax states were subsidizing ones like Illinois. Don’t forget he teaches political science. Maybe he should be audited.