LETTERS, WE WRITE LETTERS: UNCLE SAM TOP CALIFORNIA LANDLORD
Another of my letters saw print in the Santa Cruz Sentinel
today. I was moved to write because of all the sturm und drang
over the lack of affordable housing and the high cost of land in the Golden State. Here in Santa Cruz county, for instance, the median home price recently topped $700,000
. That's because there are many potential buyers, say experts, but "no inventory." I recently found out who has all the inventory, and decided to pass that information along, via the Sentinel's
letter page. Here's the text of the letter, as published:Greedy Uncle Sam
Controversies over housing at UCSC or the former Fort Ord seem laughable.
The U.S. General Services Administration reports that the federal government held 46.7 percent of California’s acreage in 2003. Releasing only 2 million acres for housing purposes, the federal government could retain the lion’s share of California, while providing affordable homes for millions, and driving statewide housing costs lower.
With people in need, we seriously discuss raising taxes on the rich, because they already have "more than enough." When discussing California’s high cost of living and its housing shortage, however, we ignore Washington. Why? When people need affordable housing, doesn’t the U.S. own more than enough of California? When it comes to standing in the way of affordable housing, no greedy, private-sector landlord can hold a candle to Uncle Sam.
Tell me: Which benefits justify federal control of nearly half of our state?JAMES ANDERSON MERRITT