A PhD in economics has done little to help socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant understand her supposed subject of expertise. One example of Sawant’s ignorance came at a housing affordability committee hearing when the self-proclaimed socialist took on city consultant Kirk Kreagar on the best way to go about creating affordable housing options.
Sawant does not agree with providing tax rebates to private developers who build housing complexes affordable to lower-middle-class residents. Kreagar’s attempts to explain to Sawant how Seattle’s temporary property tax exemption to developers who keep the cost of a certain number of units low promotes affordable housing appeared to fall on deaf ears. Ignoring Kreager, Sawant proceeded to claim that the tax rebate program meant that “the working people are paying while the developers are getting a [giveaway].” How she arrived at that conclusion is anyone’s guess.
Sawant continued by asking, “Is it best practice in terms of making sure that people have affordable housing available to them? Everything I hear about the multifamily tax exemption program is that it’s not a good idea as far as ordinary people are concerned and that it’s a gift to developers.
Sawant, not one to give up the spotlight, cut-off Kreager’s attempt to inform her of the fact that much of Seattle’s affordable housing “wouldn’t get developed without the tax credit.” Rather she continued, “So you mean that private development would not happen without it. … We’re always being told that this is the framework, whatever the private developers are willing to develop, we have to put everything down in order to make that actually possible, and whether the outcome in the balance is beneficial to the thousands of households that need housing, that is not the value that is being used.”
If you’re confused, you aren’t alone. Rest assured this isn’t the first time (and it won’t be the last) Sawant has elicited that response. And, it all gets more confusing when you get all the facts. Publicola points out that, according to city data, the tax relief incentive that so horrifies Sawant “produced 2,563 affordable units over the last 12 years.” By contrast, the incentive zoning program Sawant prefers (a fee on developers for letting them build beyond zoning limits) has produced 616.
Brian Hart says
Well, for one easily missed point, notwithstanding Sawant’s questionable understanding of economics, it is obvious that she has no respect for the construction workers who actually build the homes. They are common people, too, aren’t they? Do they have a right, that she skips conveniently past, to have a choice in the type of job they are to have, and for who[m]? Apparently they are to stupid to make such important value choices for themselves, as she would have it. How much bureaucracy will American carpenters have to deal with, compared to a flood of newly naturalized illegals who get a free Govt. pass about meeting such requirements?
Brian Hart says
Actually, I don’t find what she’s saying to be confusing, at all. She stated it poorly, skipping a background statement to clarify, but it is clear that her line is totally directed from, and towards, purist socialist ideology. She speaks of the collective as being more important, tax wise, than the individuals actually paying taxes for any given thing. She implies that the free-market is inherently unfair in that it doesn’t always consider “everybody’s” best interests, in its functions. She insists, essentially, that housing for the poor ought to be free to the poor, putting them at the forefront in all considerations. She has no regard that the contractors and developers are citizens, too, as well as employers, or that they have the special skills and resources to actually build the developments. Proof again, socialism in America can only attack and tear existing things apart, it is nearly useless for building things.
So, what about these poor folks I’m forgetting about? Am I being remiss? Or are they actually better off with suitable amounts of available housing, or the never-ending petitio principii of socialist arguments?
Eastside Sanity says
206’s live in a failed government controlled experiment. Ship all these fools to China for the real life they so badly want.
Her only real area of expertise is communist rabble rousing. At that, she’s a rock star
What do you expect from a communist? Do you really think she gives a royal rip about low-to-middle-income residents? She cares about as much as Obama cares. And you can take that any way you want to.
Entertaining–she simply doesn’t believe that anyone has the right to develop their property as they decide (even within already burdensome land use rules). SHE wants to make their decisions for them. SHE wants to make all our decisions for US. Heaven help us all.
Donald Gault says
send her back to banglidish or where ever she came from