California Debts Caused by Troubled Childhood

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“Fourteen-year-old Jim Beall saw the black smoke from blocks away, wafting over the roofs of his San Jose neighborhood. But it wasn’t until the bus taking him home from summer school turned onto his street that he realized the smoke was coming from his own house.

Beall’s family of 12 was left homeless and lost almost everything in that fire in the summer of 1966 — an experience that eventually drove Beall, now a Democratic state senator representing Silicon Valley, to fight for housing security over the course of his four-decade political career. 

It’s a story that few of [State Senator] Beall’s political colleagues have heard over the years. But when the Legislature last month passed Senate Bill 3 — Beall’s measure to create a $4 billion bond to battle homelessness and fund a variety of affordable-housing programs — his past burst into the public arena with a flood of emotion.

There’s a lot of us who have had those personal experiences of homelessness,” the 64-year-old Beall said, choking up during a Sacramento news conference as the memories from the fire a half-century ago ran through his mind.”

Disturbing. Not because of what happened to him–nobody even died in his particular childhood trauma–but because he’s making policy and running up massive debts for the entire State of California to compensate for his personal past. The article continues:

“The bond, … would fund a variety of construction and homeownership programs, including $1 billion in home loans for veterans. … “My dad didn’t talk about being a veteran,” Beall said, “but the veterans part of this bill is my honor to my father.”

A healthy man would honor his father personally, not by spending other people’s money to do what his father couldn’t. [Replace a destroyed home.] Many innocent people in the coming years will lose their homes like Beall’s family did, only this time the destroyer will be punitive taxation instead of mere combustion.

For a man so reportedly acquainted with poverty, Beall does not understand the value of a dollar.


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