Care Not Cash isn’t helping the needy

Hopefully the time has come for Mayor Ed Lee to take some time to carefully examine the dysfunctional Care Not Cash program. That misguided plan robs San Franciscans desperately seeking to extricate themselves from sleeping in shelters and going hungry.

City shelters house a collection of difficult individuals, including the mentally ill, and are staffed by some employees who are guilty of misconduct or poorly equipped to perform their jobs effectively.

With the economic downturn that prompted numerous family home foreclosures or job losses, many productive citizens are now sleeping in homeless shelters. They feel helpless and trapped by an apathetic system that does not work to truly find solutions.

Hulda Garfolo
San Francisco

Clinton and housing crisis

Attorney General Eric Holder’s lending discrimination suit against Countrywide Home Loans, which has now been acquired by Bank of America, is simply another political diversionary tactic. The real villain is Fannie Mae and overreaching government misfeasance.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led private lenders into the subprime market wherein standards were lowered to reach unqualified homebuyers. Former President Bill Clinton used the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to jump-start the housing/financial crisis by intimidating banks, mortgage lenders, Fannie and Freddie to lower their standards and make loans to those who could not afford them.

Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley

Driving laws are unsafe

In California the driving speed used to be the speed that was safe to drive under 62 mph. The premise was not to drive above a speed that was unsafe at that particular moment. The other main rule was not to proceed until it was safe. Driving was a privilege, walking was a right and the pedestrian had the right of way.

However, many current driving laws are unsafe. Take, for instance, right turns permitted on a red light, entering an intersection on a yellow light, and angled or direct curbside parking. The elimination of any of these laws would make pedestrian routes safer.

Today it is all about time — faster traffic movement, more parking spaces — and the pedestrian seems to take the back seat. Perhaps people were better off when cars and traffic moved slower and more people walked. Then pedestrians did not have to watch out for parking cars to jump the sidewalk curbs and smash into storefront windows, taking them with it.

Frank Norton
San Francisco

‘Welfare Mercedes’ woes

The “welfare Cadillac” was the rhetorical device conservatives used to illustrate how society’s poorest and weakest elements were getting away with something at the expense of working Americans.

Today it’s back as a “welfare Mercedes.” This time it’s society’s wealthiest and most powerful elements getting away with something at the expense of working Americans or those who have lost their jobs. And references to the welfare Mercedes are to be decried as evidence of envy or “class warfare.”

Riley B. VanDyke
San Francisco

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