Mr. Bensky’s letter of May 20, alleging that Baltimore and Detroit should be “so fortunate to have such a generous sugar daddy” as the Tri-Cities, which receives about $2 billion annually, is a fact-free zone: Baltimore has received boatloads of money from the federal government.
Newsweek reports Baltimore received $2.4 billion from the federal government plus $1.8 billion in state funds from 2003-2013, and another $1.8 billion in federal stimulus funds. The Washington Post reports $130 million in federal funds was spent rejuvenating “Sandtown,” the area that recently burned. School spending per pupil is 52% above the national average, $15-17,000 per child.
Baltimore indeed has a “sugar daddy,” yet the disgruntled residents burned, looted and destroyed.
Also, Mr. Bensky misses the point: $2 billion spent here created jobs. Money sent to Baltimore appears to have largely been wasted or misused — including $18 million in school funding from 2001-2004 (Baltimore Sun), one-third of the $9.5 million allotted for aid for the homeless, et cetera.
Lack of money doesn’t appear to be the problem, however there isn’t any serious attempt to identify, then work to deal with the city’s poverty, failing education system and lack of private investment.
Leslie Ann Hauer