|One of Abraham Galonsky's Properties|
I've never run the name "Galonsky" on the Cameron County Appraisal District website, but I happen to know that Abraham has that big lot across from the library on Central Blvd, where he allows candidates he approves to post their campaign signs, thirty acres near the sewer plant in Southmost he wanted the city to buy for the "new" Lincoln Park, acreage just across the interstate on University Blvd., plus the building Ben Neece will rent for his new downtown club. As for La Casa del Nylon, he has Tony Martinez and Horacio Barrera to thank for a $2.3 million dollar payday. Since the purchase in 2012, the building has been sitting idle for five years, off the tax rolls, but the city may have finally figured out a possible use for it, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it tenant ready.
Abraham will be OK, but if Donald Trump gets his way, the rest of Brownsville will not fare as well.
Brownsville may be the most federally subsidized city in the country, buoyed up by programs Trump wants to cut drastically or eliminate altogether. In many BISD schools, almost every student qualifies for a free lunch and, even breakfast. Medicaid is so prevalent that, when we took little Jack into Rodeo Dental, they seem unprepared to accept cash. Likewise for his booster shot at the doctor's office.
A substantial number of residents are "on disability," with bi-polar disease the malady of the moment recognized by Tropical Texas Behavioral Health. Child and adult care facilities have proliferated, all subsidized by the federal government. Add to this, home health care and "Meals on Wheels."
In a low income community like Brownsville, the "big money" from Earned Income Tax Credit gets recirculated back into the community so fast it will make your head swim. Used car dealers, furniture stores and other businesses try to entice these EITC shoppers with money burning a hole in their pocket: "Use a copy of your tax return as your down payment!" they holler.
UT-RGV and TSC may be somewhat understaffed, but they have sufficient monetary aid counselors to help a student secure grants, loans and scholarships as needed. Tuition can be relatively high at these institutions, but few parents are paying out-of-pocket.
Trump wants to slice and dice many of these programs according to his proposed budget and the Republicans control the House of Representatives AND the United States Senate. Should Brownsville's needy be worried? No more than Abraham Galonsky is worried.
They should not worry as long as Trump continues to tweet, keeping his government so tied up in knots, nothing gets done. Like Galonsky, Brownsville will ride out this storm.