Over the past week, much attention has been brought to the city of Baltimore, Maryland, as a result of comments made by President Donald Trump over the weekend. And now, in light of those comments and the attention the city has drawn, officials at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are beginning to ask questions.
When the President made comments about Representative Elijah Cummings’ district that includes much of the famed city being “a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” Democrats rose up en mass to defend the city and Rep. Cummings. However, it wouldn’t take much fact-checking from these lazy liberals to realize that every word Trump said about the area was exactly on point.
The city is deteriorating from the inside out, and it shows to anyone who has visited. And not just recently. It’s been going on for decades now with no changes made. Trump is simply the most recent person to have said anything, and if he weren’t so threatening to the Democrats, those comments would have largely gone unnoticed, as have everyone else’s.
Senator Bernie Sanders visited the city in 2005 and likened it to a Third World Country. Former President Barack Obama has also made remarks about the area’s dismal condition. And let’s not forget about Rep. Cummings himself. In 1999, he noted that Baltimore was saturated in drugs, crime, and rats.
During President Trump’s rant over the state of the once vibrant and beautiful city, he also made mention that every year the city is given billions in federal funding and yet nothing is getting better, suggesting that the money is not being put to good use. And he isn’t the only one noticing such discrepancies.
HUD regional administrator, Lynne Patton said on Monday in an interview with Fox News, “President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings’ district in federal grants.” And the Baltimore Sun confirms that saying that over the last two fiscal years, $15.7 billion has been used by the city.
But for what? As the president says, “Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail.”
And Patton is asking why.
“My question to you guys is this: What are you actually doing with the money so that it actually benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocketed, crooked politicians?”
She says, “We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more in community development grants than the last administration to Baltimore.”
Just to put this in perspective for you, if that nearly $16 billion were evenly distributed throughout the Baltimore district, to every man, woman, and child, it would put just over $20,000 in their hands.
And that is just from the money received last year. That doesn’t even begin to include the billions given to the city every year. And yet, “Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and Economy,” Trump says.
According to recent FBI statistics and several other studies, Baltimore was named the murder capital of the country last year. It is also the second most violent city in the US and the third most dangerous. In fact, the homicide rate in Baltimore is so high that residents could qualify for refugee status according to current US asylum laws.
So what we have here is a district whose representative is bullying and berating the actions of Border Patrol agents who are trying to make a positive difference, while his own community is allowed to waste billions in federal funding only for its citizens to be left in squalid and unlivable conditions.
And those citizens are getting tired of being neglected if their response to Trump’s comments is any indication. Since last weekend, thousands of pictures, videos, and statements have been posted online and on social media by Baltimore residents, attesting to the poverty they live in and the dismal conditions both their government and economy are in. Some are giving up entirely and moving elsewhere.
Between 2017 and 2018 nearly 8,000 residents fled the city for a life where Cummings is not in charge. And since conditions have not gotten any better since then, the numbers have only risen. Soon, there will be no one left in a city that was once the pride of the eastern seaboard and a sign of what America could be.