Back in the Truman/Eisenhower era the usual type of debate between Democrats and Republicans was waged over whether affordable housing should be funded by public revenues. Robert A. Taft, Republican Majority Leader of the Senate, supported the basic conservative positions — with several notable exceptions. Originally opposed to public expenditures for low income housing, Taft tried to prove that private investment could do it by laying out much of the Taft family funds for it — at a tremendous loss. Taft was converted and threw his weight behind public housing (and also Social Security). A public housing project in upper Harlem is named for him.

Needless to say today various schemes are put forth as provisions for low cost housing, but are but a drop in the bucket for our increasing housing needs in the face of the legions of our homeless. We need a new Taft to replace our current enemies of public housing such as NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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