Guess Who The San Francisco Chronicle Lays Blame On For The Mentally Ill That Are Plaguing Their City?

No, not Donald Trump. There was a guy who got all the blame prior to Trump —- Ronald Reagan.


For years we tolerated, even encouraged, street characters, believing them to be part of the elusive essence of San Francisco. But now the streets, particularly Market Street — the city’s main stem — are clogged with what appear to be truly mad people, talking to themselves, shouting.

Why? Because the community made a decision to allow untreated public mental illness. If questioned about it, many civic leaders will trace the problem to Ronald Reagan, who as governor decided to close mental hospitals and treat mental illness in community centers. Reagan left the governor’s office nearly 50 years ago, but we are still feeling the consequences of that decision.


The Czar has a pretty sharp memory, but admits things fade from time to time. When exactly did Reagan “close all the mental health facilities?”

Turns out, this is a huge myth that liberals have been high-fiving themselves over for decades.

In 1967, the California legislature passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), which allowed local, private (i.e., non-state) mental facilities to accept more patients—particularly those with more treatable or milder forms of mental illness.

Governor Reagan signed the bill into law; in his view, this was a win-win: mental health patients would receive treatments, and in turn the funding to state mental facilities could be reduced. Of course, the state facilities cried foul at the cut in funding, even though in theory they were not being under-funded. Of course, with a lower case load, treatments improved; however, some facilities reduced headcount.

Despite the bipartisan plan, unforeseen consequences developed. Without a requirement that all mental health patients go to public facilities, many borderline individuals simply refused private treatment as was their right. The upshot was that many individuals who could have benefited from treatment simply did not get any at all; they wound up as functioning members of the public. And sometimes, problems occurred.

Later, the Carter administration signed into law the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, which largely promoted the same idea for national facilities. In 1981, when both parties in Congress agreed to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, President Reagan signed that into law. One of it many provisions was to eliminate federal funding for community services and thereby transfer funding back to individual funding or state-funded efforts. Had Reagan even been aware of that part of the Act, he would have immediately realized the Act was negating the disastrous effects of the LPS he experienced as governor of California.

In other words, the State needs more funding control over mental health facilities, whether local, community, or state. Serious cases could still be funded through Medicaid, creating a virtual federal funding pool of money. This was formalized in the Mental Health Planning Act of 1986.

In effect, bipartisan policies recommended that the Federal government transfer government funding of community mental health facilities back to the states. State-funded facilities as well as privately-funded facilities were not affected by that policy. Reagan signed the bill into law as part of an overall spending cut package. As he would have known, complete state funding of facilities resulted in terrible mental healthcare, but state governments had an obligation to provide for this. However, in 1986, he also signed into a law another bipartisan solution to have Medicaid assist with funding. The laws closed not a single facility.


25 Comments on Guess Who The San Francisco Chronicle Lays Blame On For The Mentally Ill That Are Plaguing Their City?

  1. Stupid me
    and here I thought it must be
    dubya’s fault.

    This all started at least as far back in 1975
    when Hugh Carey in NYS introduced


    Which meant dumping the handicapped.
    retarded and otherwise screwed up
    out on streets and on welfare rather
    than in homes for them.

    It was purely a cost reduction measure
    and had nothing to do with


    You know, that buzzword the smellocrats
    love to use to justify the economic
    trap called WELFARE.

    Expose the smellocrats for what they are.

    They create monstrous problems and then
    blame their political opposition for not
    solving them.

    Smellocrats are lying hypocrites

    Beyond the prez debate free – for – all

    Their current face is

    Adam Schitt


    Floozy Puh-Loozy

  2. I work with someone who was a former social worker. She quit because she was ready to burn out and her health was suffering. Her caseload became unmanageable and it didn’t help that her immediate supervisor was (by her description) a racist black woman. That’s what capped it and made her quit.

    She’s physically tiny, 5’2, and proudly unarmed. Some of the cases she described having to work with, and sometimes meet with in private, sounded like they should have been locked up. She had to agree, grudgingly, because even now she leans decidedly liberal. Reflex programming, you know.

    Some people never learn. They can be mugged by reality and come to see a problem for what it is, and figure out how it started or what perpetuates it, but never put the blame where it should lay.

  3. The democrats profit by having stupid people
    in the environment.

    They would not have a continued existence
    without stupid people.

    This is why ” education ” is being dumbed down
    and has been for decades to ensure more
    smellocrat voters.

    The future existence of the

    SMELLOCRAT party relies principally
    on the inability of people to


  4. This is why even though I have a BA in Social Work I could never have been an effective social worker, I realized early on rather than later soon after I graduated from EWU in 1980 that it was a crock. My naïve worldview at the time of trying to save the world on my own didn’t work because it was based on lies. And I wasn’t screwed up enough or dysfunctional because I found that those type of true believers in all this malarkey were the ones who made the best brain dead believers in a socialist world view and I wasn’t one of them, thank God. I had to relearn everything good after I got out of college and I’m far better for it. And when I went to interview at WSU to get a Masters Degree in Sociology in the fall of 1982 soon after my son was born the professor told me that the whole dept. was sleeping with one another and was messed up and I took that as a warning and never went back and besides I bombed the GRE as well.

  5. “And I wasn’t screwed up enough or dysfunctional because I found that those type of true believers in all this malarkey were the ones who made the best brain dead believers in a socialist world view and I wasn’t one of them, thank God.”

    That’s her, Geoff. By her own admission she’s “f’d up.” Believe me, that is a direct quote from her own mouth and I’ve seen the evidence that she is indeed…but she says she was a very good social worker at one time.

  6. Lots of history there but they have the problem
    because they keep throwing more and more money at
    it to “fix” it. Many of these people are also
    self-medicating drug addicts and as long as they
    are given money to buy booze, crack and smack and
    can’t be arrested they ain’t going anywhere.

  7. Grool, your friend must be delusional, black women can’t be racist. I’m sure her sup just had a wicked sense of humor.

    Gawd, those must be some hearty homeless Cali has, to still be surviving on the streets 50 years later.

    I’m all for raising taxes to build thousands of insane asylums throughout the country. Where else can we house the loony dems and their cult followers? Apparently prisons are out of the question.

  8. I lived in SF from 2001-2004 and the problems they had then have exponentially exploded. When you tolerate and subsidize homelessness you get more of it. I also took a job on 6th and market during the dot com debacle and was at ground zero for insanity. And every time their payout day came when welfare money was flowing the place was a predictable insane jungle for three days until they were back to scrounging. They subsidize and encourage it. You can’t blame a policy decision 45 years ago for the problems today. As no one could rectify or adjust that when dems have been running that state exclusively for decades.

  9. …I was a player during the deinstitutionalization craze by dint of being a medic when “Community Based Mental Health Care”, i.e. Group Homes, became the craze after liberals saw “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” and thought it was a documentary, and screamed for all the asylums to be closed forthwith.

    This is how it went in my particular county:

    1) The County let it be known that they had assorted nuts that needed a place to stay.
    2) Anyone housing one of these cashews would receive training and a stipend, initially a pretty good one.
    3) There was no limit as to how many you could have.
    4) There was no requirement on the people doing the housing other than they have a house.
    5) They could exit the program at any time.

    People in the community wrote a few more for themselves:
    1) I get money for nuts.
    2) More nuts = More Money.
    3) I can always dump them back in the hospital if I get stressed.
    4) I’m borderline certifiable myself, but how nice the County doesn’t care if I’m capable or not.
    5) I don’t give a damn what my neighbors think, I’m not even going to tell them.
    6) The County just added 911 service. Wonder if I’ll be using that?

    The first result was that they took as many as they could, to try to maximize their income on the affair. The result was not unlike when Bender adopted children in “Futurama” for the sole purpose of the income they brought him, although not nearly as brightly colored and funny, and kind of lacking in happy endings.

    Of course, the County had its OWN unwritten rules:
    1) We’re not going to be particularly interested in who goes where, or how stable they are, or if they’re compatible with others in the same home.
    2) We’re going to drug the shit out of them and send them to their new keepers with the drugs, but do absolutely nothing to ensure they keep TAKING the drugs (this is the fiction of “medical mental health”, but is too big a subject for this blog).
    3) By “Training” we mean 50 hours max of liberal feelgoodisms and instructions on how to call 911, but nothing actually, you know, useful.
    4) We ALSO don’t give a damn what your neighbors think and ALSO will not tell them.

    You can see where this is going.

    Long story short, we spent a LOT of time collecting flakes from stressed, undertrained keepers who had the ambulance on speed-dial, which kept both Medical and Police assets busy schlepping people who could not live on their own back and forth to the centrally located “general” hospital, which was the ONLY one set up to take unwilling goofs at the time. This was a process known as “red tagging”, which involved the keeper saying he don’t want the nut no more because he’s, well, nuts; the LEO is obliged to write a tag, which is red, saying the person is too dangerous to be around other people based on the word of the keeper, and follow the ambulance to the hospital; and the ambulance is out of service because they have to tie the guy to the cot and drag him to the center of the City, then tie him to ANOTHER cot with all the blankets and pillows removed because fruit crackers have been known to kill themselves or each other with them, and then the resident head peeper would be summoned to ask the Three Questions.

    The Three Questions I will not document here so as not to make it easier for ANOTHER generation of loons, and they’ve probably changed sometime over the last two decades, but they were very simple questions that were supposed to ensure the person was anchored in time and space, and knew what their situation was. Again, they were quite simple because the overriding emphasis was on NOT locking crazy people up, apparently on the theory that if they hurt themselves or someone else on the OUTSIDE, at least no one could make a damning, one-sided, ludicrously exaggerated movie about the institution the same way they could if it happened INSIDE. Whatever the thinking, it was not uncommon that the headcase would be strolling out of the hospital past the squad room while we were still filling out the paperwork, so the whole thing was rather pointless.

    The worst thing is, they were REALLY doing a disservice to the mental health patient.

    A LOT of these people were in the mental health system BECAUSE they couldn’t deal. Some even WANTED to be warehoused because they couldn’t deal. When they were in an institution, they were NOT mistreated the way Jack Nicholson portrayed them to be, they were watched over by people with ACTUAL training who were paid FULL TIME to keep them safe, the other inmates were NOT allowed to hurt them, and they got three hots and a cot. Yes, there were bad keepers and lazy workers in the institutions too, but any group of people will have abusers in it, and the mental hospitals were no worse in winnowing them out than the medical hospitals were.

    The alternative we ended up with, you see before your eyes every day. People who cannot live in the community because they’re crazy, living outdoors, getting physically sick, making each OTHER physically sick, stealing to live, damaging property, having children that become wards of the State, abuse, neglect, rape, murder, feces on the street, wasted taxpayer-funded resources that are not available for TRUE emergencies…what we call “San Francisco” now, except they hadn’t had the brilliant idea of using them as flying voters for the Democrats like they do now, so they rarely left the communities they were inflicted upon.

    Were the institutions perfect? Hell NO.

    Were the institutions better than the ALTERNATIVE? Hell YES.

    …but, because we had the usual liberal knee-jerk, “DO SOMETHING” based on blowback from a popular FICTIONAL movie, the baby was scaled howling into the night along with it’s bathwater, and instead of REFORMING a NEEDED institution, we simply did AWAY with it, and two score years later, we are still realizing the fruits of that bitter harvest.

    …I could go into the ancillary physical damage, increased emotional damage, and abuse by undertrained and not all that stable “community-based” keepers that I saw, but it’s a little beside the primary point and I’m so far into TL:DNR territory at this point anyway that you’re not even reading THIS far, so that’s a different subject for another day…

    …but just so you know?

    …REAGAN had NOTHING to do with it…

  10. …although, honestly, I think the REAL reason Democrats hated looney bins so, was that they needed to ne IN them, and KNEW it. This led to paranoid fantasies about being locked up for being Democrats, which led to their venomous opposition to them.

    In hindsight, we’d be far better off today if we HAD locked them up then. Pretty clear NOW that liberalism is a mental disorder.

    …the irony is, now they want to bring them BACK, and fill them with Trump voters.

    For being Trump voters.

    …it’s an old Soviet trick, and since they’re determined to act like old Soviets, we’d BETTER take them SERIOUSLY. Libetals at all times are great projectors, masters at judging others by what THEY are.

    There’s a REASON they were afraid they’d be locked up for their politics.

    …it’s because it’s what THEY would do to US, given a chance, so they just assume we’re the same way, and act accordingly…

  11. I’m somewhat surprised the article didn’t mention the role the ACLU played in closing the mental institutions.

  12. Put in this context, the CIRM investment would be worthwhile if it increased our chances of success even modestly. Against the billions of dollars in disease burden facing California, the relatively small initial investment is already paying dividends as researchers work to bring new therapies to patients

  13. Discarded hypodermic needles and feces.
    Indigents and illegals.
    Porn and depravity.
    That is California.

  14. grool OCTOBER 15, 2019 AT 4:51 AM
    “I work with someone who was a former social worker. She quit because she was ready to burn out and her health was suffering.”

    …I know a social worker that had the exact same sort of experience and complaint, but she went on to get a mortuary licence and now prepared dead bodies for burial, and says it’s a WAY better class of people than what she USED to work with, and what she’s doing NOW is more of a benefit to society besides…

  15. Any solution that does not include involuntary commitment for the mentally ill and a work farm confinement for out and out vagrants is pissing in the wind
    The mentally ill are committing self harm being on the street
    The vagrant and drug addled need to shown that there is no place for vagrancy on our streets and learn the consequences of laziness.

  16. ASSuming they’re correct (JUST for the sake of argument, mind you)… WHO told them they had to go and ELECT them, to state & local offices?!?! 😳

  17. @ Bill OCTOBER 15, 2019 AT 8:18 AM
    “I’m somewhat surprised the article didn’t mention the role the ACLU played in closing the mental institutions.”

    As I recall, the California legislature passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, AFTER the ACLU and a bunch of Law Students sued the state on behalf of mental patients. The ACLU won, and as a result, the patients had to be released.

  18. And the communists controlled California for 28 of the last 50 years and never fixed Reagan’s ‘mistake’?

  19. They were recently blaming Texas for the homeless problem in San Francisco. As a Texan, I was rather proud of that.

  20. The proud California Bear Flag should be replaced by one showing a filthy illegal alien raping a child while simultaneously injecting himself with crack and taking a dump on the sidewalk, with a blue-and-pink haired liberal applauding from the sidelines.

    That’s the state and State of California.


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