Rudy Giuliani took a break from reminding everyone that he saved the universe on 9/11 to weigh in, yet again, on NYC's current homelessness epidemic. And if you think he isn't speaking out on this issue because a man pooped near his home one time, then you don't know the depths of Rudy's vindictiveness.
As has been his wont on his I'll Say Anything For Attention 2015: Unwanted Opinions Wanted Tour, Giuliani digs into his deep wells of empathy and subtlety in a front page op-ed for the NY Post today. We are not exaggerating much when we summarize the op-ed thusly: "I'm a super genius who solved the homeless crisis in NYC when I was mayor, because I care about homeless people like they are my children, so why has raging Marxist progressive libtard de Blasio ruined all my hard work by coddling these disgusting vagrants who I loathe to my core?" But hey, at least he didn't mention 9/11!
Let us not mince words: Giuliani "cleaned up" NYC's homeless population during his time as mayor by arresting them, sticking them in underserved shelters, and axing their community service programs. Advocates for the homeless sued Giuliani (multiple times!) over his failure to provide proper medical treatment to homeless children and benefits to homeless adults. That's right, the great Giuliani, who "legitimized the very idea of collective, rather than individual, rights"—out of sight, out of mind. His vengeance toward his enemies on this issue was legendary.
But that's not how Giuliani sees it!
My analysis of social policy always begins with how I would treat my child, sister, brother or friend if they fell on hard times. Suppose I found someone I loved living on the streets. What would I do? Let him remain there because he wants to and claims some fictitious legal right to do so? Or would I find out what was wrong and intervene, even if a bit of tough love was necessary?
When family members aren’t around or can’t handle the problem, it falls to the government. Under my hypothetical situation, I would find out why he is on the streets. Is he without funds to pay rent? Is he drinking too much or taking drugs or suffering from mental illness? In any one of those situations, I would suggest and then, if necessary, exert pressure on him to get appropriate help.
The depths of his loathsomeness on this issue are only matched by the inanity of his war on de Blasio. "The plan we followed was simple and effective," he writes. "We didn’t need a task force to devise it, and it should be utilized now by New York City before we become a homeless haven like we used to be...We had a strategy that worked. Why was it abandoned?" It's so simple, you idiots, why don't you just do what I did?!? Don't you want a lucrative second career as a caricature of yourself selling LifeLock and making increasingly pathetic appearances bloviating on Fox News?
Let's put aside Giuliani's transparent hypocrisy and personal deficiencies for a moment and focus on the premise of the article, which is right there in its headline: "De Blasio's Progressivism Created City's Homeless Crisis."
This is a lie.
This is a lie that has already been debunked several times. In 2013, during the last year of Bloomberg's administration, NYC had more homeless people than it had in decades. During his whole final term, from January 2010 through December 2013, "the monthly average number of families with children in the city's shelter system grew 20 percent. The number of adult families rose 46 percent and the number of single adults climbed 38 percent."
As the de Blasio administration has pointed out, imprisoning panhandlers doesn't exactly solve the homeless problem in the long run. "Instead of 'getting rid' of people, Mayor de Blasio wants to implement long-term solutions to homelessness, building new shelters, providing supportive services and ensuring the mentally ill homeless receive the care they need," de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said in a statement.
Who was Mayor during time when NYC homeless numbered 25,000 in 2002 and jumped to 53,000 by 2013. Not @BilldeBlasio
— Karen Hinton (@KarenHinton) August 25, 2015
Press interest in homelessness has hardly been proportional. Over the entire final Bloomberg term, according to the news database LexisNexis, the New York Times ran 38 items that mentioned "Mayor Bloomberg" and "homelessness;" it's run 45 mentioning homelessness and de Blasio during de the current mayor's time in City Hall.
The Daily News ran 186 such items from 2010-2013 and 167 since de Blasio took the oath. And the New York Post? During Bloomberg III, 95 items. In the first 20 months of the de Blasio administration, there have been 105.
De Blasio has reversed a number of Bloomberg's most noxious housing policies, increased funding for homeless and mental health services, and pushed for new affordable housing in the city. The Post, as ever, are pushing their own revisionist politics through the least deserving mouthpiece they can find.
The Daily News also had an op-ed today about the homelessness crisis, written by Scott Stringer, and he offers a much-needed breath of fresh air and reasonableness in the face of Giuliani's faux-humanitarianism and self-serving rhetoric:
No one is blameless for this human catastrophe: not the federal government, which has slashed funding for public housing and social services; not the state, which has balked at fully funding a joint city-state rental assistance program; and not the city, which continues to approach the crisis of homelessness as if it were an unforeseeable emergency.
Meanwhile, as the blame game continues, New Yorkers suffer. Since January 2014, the number of families with children in city shelters has risen by 11%. The number of single adults has soared 20%.
What we need is action — now — to create ample permanent housing options for homeless New Yorkers and people at risk of becoming homeless. The longer we wait, the more New Yorkers will end up facing eviction and the more children will end up going to sleep in shelters.
Mary Brosnahan, of Coalition for the Homeless, gets the final word on Giuliani: "Asking Giuliani for advice on homelessness is like asking Bill Cosby to pour your wife a drink," she said. Which is probably an analogy Giuliani would be okay with.