Minot Daily News, Minot, S.D., Aug. 26, 2015
Check once, trust forever
Perhaps you have done well during the past few years. When you got married, you and your spouse didn’t have two dimes to rub together. Your low family income qualified you easily for government-subsidized housing.
Then both of you worked hard and moved up. Regular pay raises boosted your income. You began to worry you’d have to move out of your apartment because, clearly, your situation wasn’t what public housing advocates had in mind.
Don’t worry. You can stay — even if that means families who really need the help won’t get it. Your income was checked once before you moved in, and the federal government hasn’t asked about it since.
Outrageous? You bet. A federal inspector general found more than 25,000 “over-income” tenants in public facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They had not been asked to move because no one had bothered with regular checks on income.
Meanwhile, thousands of low-income families wait for their turns.
No one has suggested forcing families in low-income housing out on the street if their resources cross a certain line. Perhaps a sliding scale of rents could be implemented to allow some to stay where they are while paying more realistically for housing.
But the HUD approach — verify once, then trust forever — is an example of lazy bureaucracy that should not be tolerated.
Aug. 20, The Washington Post on Jimmy Carter’s cancer diagnosis
Cool, composed and as forthright as ever, former president Jimmy Carter said in a news conference Thursday that, in the wake of a cancer diagnosis, he is “perfectly at ease with whatever comes.” The way Mr. Carter handled the conference underscores the grace with which he has conducted his entire post-presidency, and only makes it harder for the rest of us to be perfectly at ease with the possibility of his passing.
Mr. Carter at times has stirred controversy with his deeply held views on the Middle East and other global challenges. Yet even those who have found themselves disagreeing with him, as we have from time to time, have stood in admiration of the honorable life he has lived and the model post-presidency he has shaped. Mr. Carter has spent the years after his single term as president focusing not on constructing a lavish library-memorial, nor on earning millions through speechmaking, but on substantive, civic-spirited initiatives intended to improve the world in ways both big and small.
With the Carter Center, Mr. Carter has advocated for democracy abroad and helped stamp out preventable diseases in underdeveloped countries. His work in both spheres has helped save lives, whether by countering dictatorships or Guinea worms. In and near Plains, Georgia, where he grew up and worked as a peanut farmer, Mr.?Carter lectures at Emory University, preaches at his local church and teaches Sunday school classes. He even continues to farm peanuts.
Now, as he begins treatment for a cancer that has spread to his brain, Mr. Carter again offers a model of quiet courage, neither fatalistic nor unrealistic, expressing more concern for his loved ones than for himself. We have no doubt that others facing illness will find inspiration in his example.
Despite his diagnosis, Mr. Carter said he still wants to travel to Nepal in November for his 32nd home-building mission with Habitat for Humanity. He also wants to spend more time fishing and with his wife, Rosalynn. Like all Americans, we wish Mr. Carter the best with his ongoing treatment. Any ex-president could do a lot worse than have it said that, after years at the helm, he just wanted to farm some peanuts, save some lives and then go fishing.