Tucker Carlson: The homeless crisis is a symptom of our society collapsing in real time

At every intersection, there are beggars. It’s what we used to imagine India was like, but this is not Calcutta. This is New York and San Francisco and Austin, Texas. So the question is what happened? And the short answer is: Our leaders did this. No matter what they tell you, homelessness is not an act of God. It’s not the result of economic collapse in this country. America does not run out of housing. 

Instead, a determined group of well-funded ideologues decided to make it easier to live on the streets in this country while doing drugs. Therefore, many more people now live on the streets while doing drugs. See? Not complicated. 

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In 2005, an unemployed alcoholic called Basil Humphrey enrolled in a rehab program in Boise, Idaho. When Humphrey refused to stop drinking, the rescue mission kicked him out. Those were the rules, and he spent months sleeping outside, as so many do. Eventually, local authorities ticketed him for camping on public property. That was the law. 

The story would have ended there, except that a huge corporate law firm in New York City called Latham & Watkins took an interest in the case on the other side of the country. Now, typically, Latham & Watkins represent Wall Street banks and prominent Democratic officeholders. But the firm wanted to change vagrancy laws to increase homelessness. Why did they want that? We don’t know. But the firm filed a lawsuit on Basil Humphrey’s behalf against the city of Boise. 

Homeless woman Tara Lowe hauls her belongings after street cleaning came through to clean Willow Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in San Francisco, California. 

Homeless woman Tara Lowe hauls her belongings after street cleaning came through to clean Willow Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in San Francisco, California.  (Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

That suit made it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, the court declared that cities have no right to criminalize homelessness. In fact, the court ruled, cities have an obligation to provide free housing to the homeless at public expense. The Supreme Court later upheld that ruling. 

The case was known as Martin vs. Boise, and it had exactly the effect that Latham & Watkins intended. City officials across the country no longer had an obligation to protect the public and public spaces from drug addicts who decided to live in them. 

At the same time, politicians suddenly had access to a massive new source of cash. Taxpayer money, many billions in taxpayer money, for something called homelessness prevention. Now, what is homelessness prevention? Well, of course, it’s the opposite of what they call it, as always.

Here’s Seattle’s interpretation of homelessness prevention: 

REPORTER: A handful of Seattle’s more than 12,000 homeless will soon be going from the street to a new apartment with stunning views of the Space Needle and Puget Sound. Using part of the share of the $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief package, the city bought three brand-new apartment buildings for $ 50 million for 165 homeless, a price of $ 300,000 per unit. … In Los Angeles, Skid Row is about to get a new neighbor, a 19-story-high rise for homeless, costing taxpayers $ 160 million, or $ 580,000 per unit, that they’re part of an expensive push to get the homeless off of sidewalks and out of city parks and into government-subsidized housing, even if it means buying new buildings at market rate from developers. 

Oh, stunning views of the Space Needle and Puget Sound. Do you have one of those? Well, crack heads do. More than half a million dollars per apartment to house drug addicts at public expense, at market rates. So you can see why real estate developers would strongly support a program like that. And of course, they strongly do. 

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But luxury apartments are just the beginning. Seattle’s most recent municipal budget allocated more than $ 150 million to other so-called homelessness programs just this year. Now, keep in mind, Seattle has fewer than 750,000 people living there, so that’s an awful lot of money per bum. It’s certainly a lot more than anyone else is getting in Seattle. 

At the same time, it was giving overpriced condos to drug addicts with stunning views of Puget Sound, Seattle allocated just $ 10 million total for its Small Business Stabilization Fund, designed to keep family businesses from going bankrupt during the COVID lockdowns. 

So the city’s priorities could not be clearer than that. You lavished money on the least productive, most antisocial parasites in our society, and then you punish Americans who work for a living. Got it? And it’s hardly just Seattle. 

The latest city budget in San Francisco proposes spending $ 667 million dollars on something called the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. And yet, at the very same time, San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and Families gets less than half that amount. A city program designed to help lowincome families pay college tuition gets just $ 16 million total. That’s about 2 percent of what the homeless get. 

So in San Francisco, it makes sense, in fact, it pays to get high on the sidewalk. Don’t bother to get an education, nobody cares. That’s the message from the city. Couldn’t be clearer. 

In Austin, Texas, the city’s budget for homelessness assistance was $ 68 million last year. At the very same time, the city of Austin spent just $ 3.5 million dollars in new loans for struggling small businesses, and only $ 7 million for “mission-critical infrastructure and deferred maintenance at city facilities.” Like the things that matter. And at the same time as this was going on, the police department, the city of Austin got an $ 11 million budget cut. 

So what happened to the homelessness in Austin? The problem they were trying to solve? Well, to no one’s surprise, it has grown by 10 percent in just two years. You get what you pay for. When you pay for homelessness, you get a lot more of it. See how that works? 

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In Los Angeles, politicians have spent billions “fighting homelessness.” This has been accompanied, of course, by a massive increase in the number of people who are homeless. Four years ago, the city spent $ 440 million on what it called solutions to homelessness. That was supposed to fix the problem. Did it? Homelessness in Los Angeles jumped 15 percent just last year. So this year, L.A. will spend more — close to a billion dollars on the homeless in 2022. 

As for the small businesses crushed by the city’s lunatic COVID restrictions, you ask what will they get? Well, they get $ 62 million total. The city’s gang reduction program gets about half that. 

So politicians in Los Angeles are, at the very least, very clear about their priorities. What has this done to L.A.? We don’t have to look far to see the answer to that. Last week, a homeless man walked into a furniture store in the west side of Los Angeles and murdered a graduate student who was working alone there. He stabbed her to death for no apparent reason and then walked out. He’s still at large. She was 24. Now she’s dead. 

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Today, her father told “Fox & Friends” that he holds city officials responsible for the killing. 

TODD KUPFER: What’s endemic in our society right now is that everybody seems to be oriented on giving back rides and bestowing favor on people that robbed others of their rights. We should be celebrating the good in people and trying to recognize that that’s the job they have is to try to elevate that, to make communities better, to make people care more, to not tear down communities by exposing them to people that’re falling out the bottom that really don’t care about the other human beings and just think they can do whatever they like in our society and they are doing it more and more in every community. 

Pretty composed for a man who just lost his child, but he’s absolutely right. Focusing our attention and our money on people who contribute nothing, who only detract from the project that is this country, don’t help their communities or anybody’s community, who hurt other people, who live solely for themselves, who are a danger to the rest of us, that’s insane. And so that girl died, and she wasn’t the only one.