Skip to comments.Burn Down the Suburbs?
Posted on 08/01/2012 11:02:25 AM PDT by neverdem
President Obama is not a fan of America’s suburbs. Indeed, he intends to abolish them. With suburban voters set to be the swing constituency of the 2012 election, the administration’s plans for this segment of the electorate deserve scrutiny. Obama is a longtime supporter of “regionalism,” the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation. To this end, the president has already put programs in place designed to push the country toward a sweeping social transformation in a possible second term. The goal: income equalization via a massive redistribution of suburban tax money to the cities.
Obama’s plans to undercut the political and economic independence of America’s suburbs reach back decades. The community organizers who trained him in the mid-1980s blamed the plight of cities on taxpayer “flight” to suburbia. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Obama’s mentors at the Gamaliel Foundation (a community-organizing network Obama helped found) formally dedicated their efforts to the budding fight against suburban “sprawl.” From his positions on the boards of a couple of left-leaning Chicago foundations, Obama channeled substantial financial support to these efforts. On entering politics, he served as a dedicated ally of his mentors’ anti-suburban activism.
The alliance endures. One of Obama’s original trainers, Mike Kruglik, has hived off a new organization called Building One America, which continues Gamaliel’s anti-suburban crusade under another name. Kruglik and his close allies, David Rusk and Myron Orfield, intellectual leaders of the “anti-sprawl” movement, have been quietly working with the Obama administration for years on an ambitious program of social reform.
In July of 2011, Kruglik’s Building One America held a conference at the White House. Orfield and Rusk made presentations, and afterwards Kruglik personally met with the president in the Oval Office. The ultimate goal of the movement led by Kruglik, Rusk, and Orfield is quite literally to abolish the suburbs. Knowing that this could never happen through outright annexation by nearby cities, they’ve developed ways to coax suburbs to slowly forfeit their independence.
One approach is to force suburban residents into densely packed cities by blocking development on the outskirts of metropolitan areas, and by discouraging driving with a blizzard of taxes, fees, and regulations. Step two is to move the poor out of cities by imposing low-income-housing quotas on development in middle-class suburbs. Step three is to export the controversial “regional tax-base sharing” scheme currently in place in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area to the rest of the country. Under this program, a portion of suburban tax money flows into a common regional pot, which is then effectively redistributed to urban, and a few less well-off “inner-ring” suburban, municipalities.
The Obama administration, stocked with “regionalist” appointees, has been advancing this ambitious plan quietly for the past four years. Efforts to discourage driving and to press development into densely packed cities are justified by reference to fears of global warming. Leaders of the crusade against “sprawl” very consciously use environmental concerns as a cover for their redistributive schemes.
The centerpiece of the Obama administration’s anti-suburban plans is a little-known and seemingly modest program called the Sustainable Communities Initiative. The “regional planning grants” funded under this initiative — many of them in battleground states like Florida, Virginia, and Ohio — are set to recommend redistributive policies, as well as transportation and development plans, designed to undercut America’s suburbs. Few have noticed this because the program’s goals are muffled in the impenetrable jargon of “sustainability,” while its recommendations are to be unveiled only in a possible second Obama term.
Obama’s former community-organizing mentors and colleagues want the administration to condition future federal aid on state adherence to the recommendations served up by these anti-suburban planning commissions. That would quickly turn an apparently modest set of regional-planning grants into a lever for sweeping social change.
In light of Obama’s unbroken history of collaboration with his organizing mentors on this anti-suburban project, and his proven willingness to impose ambitious policy agendas on the country through heavy-handed regulation, this project seems likely to advance.
A second and equally ambitious facet of Obama’s anti-suburban blueprint involves the work of Kruglik’s Building One America. Traditionally, Alinskyite community organizers mobilize leftist church groups. Kruglik’s group goes a step further by organizing not only the religious left but politicians from relatively less-well-off inner-ring suburbs. The goal is to build coalitions between urban and inner-ring suburban state legislators, in a bid to force regional tax-base sharing on middle-class suburbanites. That is how the practice came to Minnesota.
The July 2011 White House conference, gathering inner-ring suburban politicians for presentations by Rusk and Orfield, was an effort to place the prestige of the Obama administration behind Kruglik’s organizing efforts. A multi-state battle over regional tax-base “sharing,” abetted by the president, would usher in divisive class warfare on a scale likely to dwarf the puny efforts of Occupy Wall Street.
Obama’s little-known plans to undermine the political and economic autonomy of America’s suburbs constitute a policy initiative similar in ambition to health-care reform, the stimulus, or “cap-and-trade.” Obama’s anti-suburban plans also supply the missing link that explains his administration’s overall policy architecture.
Since the failure of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty and the collapse of federal urban policy, leftist theorists of community organizing have advocated a series of moves designed to quietly redistribute tax money to the cities. Health-care reform and federal infrastructure spending (as in the stimulus) are backed by organizers as the best ways to reconstitute an urban policy without directly calling it that. A campaign against suburban “sprawl” under the guise of environmentalism is the next move. Open calls for suburban tax-base “sharing” are the final and most controversial link in the chain of a reconstituted and redistributive urban policy. President Obama is following this plan.
Middle-class suburban supporters of the president take note. It isn’t just the pocketbooks of the “1 percent” he’s after; it’s yours.
— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the author of Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.
This tyrant must be defeated.
UN Agenda 21
AND...control the water in the southwest:
snip-”This is an unprecedented legal claim to water.
(air will be next.)
This is where the soccer moms will be a force for good, they will revolt against this idea.
For your respective lists.
Where has this scenario played out before? Obama and his lackies should have waited for at least another generation. There’s still too many people around who remember the bad old days of the soviet union. The crap obama is spewing sounds like it just came out of the kremlin. Sorry obama, there may be a lot of ignorant people in this country, but there’s not quite enough for what you may be planning.
What exactly do you think carbon "credits" are being sold for?
Exactly, and Obama and his ilk have another foe that won’t be so easy to control - technology. More people are able to telecommute now and are free to pick up and move to wherever they want to live.
In some ways, it’s a good thing that government is so incompetent. It can’t enforce it’s own schemes. As P.J. O’Rourke said, even if government had a camera in every room in your house, at least half of them wouldn’t be working. ;-)
“by discouraging driving with a blizzard of taxes, fees, and regulations.”
Georgia’s TSPLOST tax was to do exactly that, sucking another 1% to persuade residents into metro areas.
It was subjected to a vote.
It was crushed by nearly 2 to 1.
We can say “NO”.
There are some Chicago orgs mentioned in the article.
Isn't the main source of funding for ObamaCare a massive redistribution of money from the young to those aged 40-65? I sense a theme. All our money is theirs to spread around at will . . . so that everyone "benefits" as the socialists define that word.
How about burning Washington instead?
To see the effects of such a scheme, one only has to look at the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Under the terms of a Federal school integration case, the Kansas City School district was put under the control of a federal judge for something like 20 or 30 years. He had full control, to include the ability to raise taxes in suburban counties surrounding Kansas City. He used this authority to raise the taxes in surrounding counties and used the money to spend lavishly on Kansas City Schools with no improvement in educational attainment.
His authority, however, did not extend to suburban counties in Kansas, some of which were literally right across the street from KC MO. Their taxes were not raised and their tax dollars were no poured into the KC money pit. Those counties grew and thrived, Missouri counties declined. People voted with their feet and the net result was economic decline on the Missouri side and growth and prosperity on the Kansas side (except for KC MO’s lttle urban twin, KC, KS.)
Where this scheme is implemented, suburbs will immediately start to decline. Rural areas outside whatever new boundaries are drawn will spring to life with growth as people flee from this oppressive black hole.
Not to worry - 0bama’s Rural Pacification program will deal with us pesky rural bitter clingers:
Drone overflights, declaring things like dust and milk as EPA-regulated ‘pollutants,’ control and cutoff of water...
You get the picture.
The goal of United Nation's Agenda 21 is to zone private property out of existence and herd all non-essential humanoids into high-rise containment facilities where they can be inventoried and tracked more easily until the time for the Final Solution arrives.
Aha, but guess what? The ilk have an answer for technology, and that is called electricity. When they have shut down all the coal plants and torn down the dams, and opened all the wind and solar farms, there will be shortages, and they will be forced to dictate where the electricity goes. Smart meters, ever heard of them? They will be used to ration electricity. They can turn you on and off at a whim. Welcome to India, my friends.
The liberals' idea of a sustainable community. Bet you bet your sweet #ss Higher People's Party members won't be living there.
Aww, why did you have to rain on my parade? ;-)
I refuse to give up hope. I think people will always find a way around the dinosaurs in government. It may not be easy, but it will be done.
“This tyrant must be defeated.”