July 29, 2009, - 2:38 pm
. . . those infected with AIDS/HIV in Alaska. Their grant is not only being renewed in full, it’s being increased. And why do they get a special housing grant in the first place?
I feel for anyone who has AIDS . . . just as I feel for anyone who has cancer. But in the case of those who have cancer, most of them get it due to circumstances beyond their control (yes, I know, some behaviors lead to cancer, like smoking, tanning, eating too much red meat and not exercising). Not the case with AIDS, which is still largely behavioral–intravenous drug use, gay sex, promiscuity (with a few people who got it by accident through tainted blood transfusions).
Given this, it’s curious that while the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is cutting grants all over the place, it’s actually increasing grants, like the one linked above, to families of those with AIDS or HIV.
What about families of those with cancer . . . like, say, pancreatic cancer which is largely beyond its victims’ control, and which is far more fatal than AIDS and HIV, for which there are many effective drug cocktails. Why is there a special housing grant for AIDS victims in Alaska and not breast or colon cancer victims in Alaska?
Politics. That’s why. As I’ve lamented on this site, although AIDS and HIV still only affect a very small group in our society, it gets a huge, disproportionate share of not only science research dollars, but–as in this case–government funding and assistance to those affected by it. And, as we know, AIDS remained confined to gays and needle-using druggies–not the general population which they tried to frighten us into believing would be infested.
Reader David from Alaska, who is in the housing industry, notes that not only is everyone else experiencing cuts from HUD, but
the HUD funds can be used for social programs and everyday living costs and medical treatment.
Moreover, the press release notes:
This year, HUD is making available a record $310 million in HOPWA funds to help communities provide housing for this special needs population. These resources are expected to assist an estimated 58,000 households annually to promote stable housing arrangements and reduced risks of homelessness for persons living with HIV and other challenges.
Again, what about the “promot[ion of] stable housing arrangements and reduced risks of homelessness for persons living with” cancer? Nothing against AIDS and HIV victims (to whom I wish well and a recovery), but do they really deserve special treatment from HUD, while everyone else is being cut off by the agency? Is there really a need for a special earmark for them above everyone else?
I don’t think so.
Do you? Well, in this case, your taxes are being doled out according to this incongruous view.
Yet again, as in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” all of the animals in the barnyard are equal. But some are more equal than others.
Tags: AIDS, cancer, Federal Grants, HIV, Hud, Tax Money