Glenn Beaton’s snide snipes at the homeless |

Glenn Beaton’s snide snipes at the homeless

Glenn K. Beaton’s adroit handling of a subject requiring compassion was predictably tactless (“Let’s help vagrants, not use and enable them,” commentary, May 13, The Aspen Times).

The issue of homelessness is a heart breaking one, and his column managed to convey his nonexistent concern admirably. “Vagrants,” as he labelled the homeless, only appear in towns that offer them free stuff. His solution is obvious: Don’t give them anything and they will go someplace else. Out of sight, out of mind.

Beaton ignores the fact that America’s cities are too expensive for the average working Joe to live in. He ignores the fact that of the 564,708 homeless in the U.S., one-quarter are children, 8 percent are veterans, and 50 percent are over the age of 50 with all the accompanying disabilities, mental illness and maladies this age group can expect. According to Beaton, these people prefer to be homeless.

Beaton cites such vaunted sources as an online comments section to back his assertions. Read the online comments of Beaton’s column on The Aspen Times website. You will find a new definition of vaunted sources of ignorance.

So what can we expect from the Washington leadership Beaton so obsequiously defends biweekly? HUD director Ben Carson announced a plan to triple the rents of low-income people in HUD housing and reduce rent subsidies other low income people receive. The SNAP program has been cut. Never mind that the average private in the military qualifies for food stamps. These vagrants need to pull themselves up by their marching bootstraps.

Beaton asserts, with his snide jabs at the left, that liberals secretly like to see people on the street because it makes America look bad. I contend that what makes America look bad is cutting taxes on those who don’t need it and paying for those cuts by reducing services for the less fortunate.

Instead of paying lip service to the problem, perhaps a newfound progressive like Beaton could organize a lobby of similarly thinking people to demand that services not be cut to the most vulnerable among us. You know, the military, Wal-Mart employees and teachers. Tell Ben Carson that raising rents on the poor is not the way to force them into becoming corporate CEOs who enjoy the new tax benefits.

To quote Beaton, “Let’s get vagrants off the streets and into the treatment they need. We owe it to them, to our country, to our culture and to ourselves.” I agree, but first let’s treat them with a little respect by not labelling them “vagrants.” Let’s recognize that the homeless have the same rights as anyone.

In this new Gilded Age, Americans have dutifully accepted the reverse Robin Hood trickle down Corporatocracy. We are mortgaging our children’s future by cutting taxes on corporate welfare queens intent on sucking this country dry. The robber barons owe it to their country, their culture and themselves to return something to the country as thanks for allowing them to gouge, steal and inherit with such disdain for the rest of us.

Vagrants, indeed.

Johnny Boyd

Snowmass Village