How crazy a world are we living in today where the tenant who failed to pay her rent for two years had enough money reserved to donate nearly $26,000 to her brother’s political campaign? https://paper.newsday.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?edid=273dbef1-0890-4613-835d-e9e1c4b7b094&pnum=6
That’s exactly what Tiffany Santos, the sister of Congressman George Santos, did during a period in which she was refusing to pay her rent. https://gothamist.com/news/george-santos-sister-who-gave-thousands-to-her-brothers-campaign-settles-her-eviction-case
She stopped paying rent on her $2,000-per-month apartment in March 2020 and accumulated arrears of approximately $41,000. She refused to pay a dime to her landlord, even though she received more than $30,000 in government rent relief through COVID programs.
Notice I didn’t say she was unable to pay her rent. It’s obvious that she had at least some funds available to give to her landlord. But why would she thumb her nose at her rental obligations and instead give the money to her brother’s campaign?
The answer is simple. She knew there would be no repercussions for not paying. She knew we have a crazy system in this state that rewards tenants for not paying their rent. They view the delinquent one as the victim and the small-time landlord as the oppressor.
She wound up entering into a settlement paying fifty cents on the dollar. She is supposed to pay $1,000 per month going forward. I wouldn’t bet the farm that she’ll pay it.
We have a culture that tells students they don’t have to pay back their loans, while telling those entering our country illegally they can be rewarded with free health care and college tuition. The problem with this culture of no consequences is that it makes the rest of society who pays its bills a bunch of suckers.