How much would it cost to end homelessness in the United States? About as much as we spend on Christmas decorations every year.
According to the latest report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national homeless population held pretty much steady from 2011 to 2012, which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it.
What's needed to turn things around, says Mark Johnston, acting assistant housing secretary for community planning and development, is money -- big money. Nearly $2 billion a year worth of big money.
As it happens, that's about the same amount Americans spend annually on Christmas decorations and flowers. Or so says the advocacy group ThinkProgress.
There will be some, I suppose, who will view this as a declaration of war on Christmas (a battle our friends at Fox News seem willing to wage every year at this time).
In response, it's worth noting that the guy whose birthday we're supposedly celebrating built his ministry out of helping the downtrodden and less fortunate.
So it's perhaps fair to ask the old question: What would Jesus do?
I'm guessing he'd go easy on the tinsel and focus more on the good deeds.