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Culture of entitlement: The Section 8 housing mob scene

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 11, 2010 01:34 PM

Remember Peggy the Moocher, the Obama supporter who couldn’t wait for her government savior to usher in the Age of Bottomless Household Entitlements?

Now, imagine thousands of Peggys crowded together on the streets demanding their cash money.

Via the AJC:

A crowd of people hoping to get federal housing assistance became unruly Wednesday morning with reports of fights breaking out in the crowd

Thousands of people were lined up at the Tri-Cities shopping center, hoping to apply for a voucher from the East Point Housing Authority that will give them a discount on their rent.

People began lining up at the shopping center two days ago, and by Wednesday morning the crowd had grown to over several thousand people. East Point police, some wearing riot helmets, were patrolling the area. Firefighters and EMTs were attending to people who were overheating in the sun. Police from College Park, Hapeville, Fulton County and MARTA assisted in crowd control.

The mob was waiting to collect on Section 8 vouchers. The program is a welfare-state relic. Housing policy expert Howard Husock at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal exposed the entitlement failure several years ago:

Housing vouchers—in New York and across urban America—originated 30 years ago, with “Section 8” of the Nixon-era National Housing Act. The program’s rationale was straightforward: instead of placing an aid recipient in a housing project—viewed as a failed experiment because of the projects’ expense and disorder—the federal government would provide a voucher that subsidized the rent in a privately owned apartment. Conservatives have supported the voucher plan over the years chiefly because of its seeming free-market component, and because it does not impose on the government the considerable cost of building and maintaining public housing. But whatever Republican hopes, the voucher initiative operated from its inception just like any other no-strings-attached welfare program—and it continues to do so today, eight years after the nation ended the federal welfare entitlement and lifted hundreds of thousands of formerly dependent welfare mothers into lives of work and greater personal responsibility.

Almost alone among post–welfare reform social programs, Section 8 remains an open-ended benefit, with no time limit…

…While Republicans acquiesce in the Section 8 program’s growth, urban liberal Democrats use the program’s growing funding stream to waft benefits to their constituents, who can rely on them—literally—to pay the rent. In New York, this arrangement helps reelect Democratic congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Major Owens, and Nydia Velazquez, all in districts thick with Section 8 apartments. The result: increased dependency and the undermining of many New York neighborhoods—and many other neighborhoods throughout urban America.

Related read: See my 2009 post on what government housing bureaucrats have wrought in Chicago…

No peace in Chicago’s Altgeld Gardens: What Obama and Jarrett left behind

See also: “Chicago’s Real Crime Story”

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