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Conservatives Richard Falknor on 01 Aug 2012 06:43 pm

UPDATED! Metrorail to Loudoun: Kindling for “Burn[ing] Down the Suburbs’?

UPDATE AUGUST 3! Rush Limbaugh explains “Obama’s Plan to Eliminate Suburbs” – – “[Stanley] Kurtz believes that this is an excellent way to campaign against Obama, that you don’t need to be Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. You just need to tell people that live in the suburbs that no matter what they are, Obama’s coming for ’em, that he has been raised to believe that it was flight from the cities that led to all of the horrible economic conditions, the rotten schools and all of this that plague America’s cities.”

* * * * *

Scholar and Obama-Watcher Stanley Kurtz reveals today (NRO) in his “Burn Down the Suburbs?” that – –

“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.”  (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Author Kurtz explains – –

“The ultimate goal of the [anti-suburb or anti-sprawl] movement . . . 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.”

“Sustainable Communities Initiative”

Kurtz warns about ‘sustainability’ – –

“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.

As we wrote last week – –

“Much smaller scale but nonetheless dangerous appropriations bills now going through the Congress likely bankroll a number of potential anti-property-rights (or, in the case of education, anti-Western values) state actions.   For example, the Senate Appropriations Committee (p.103) has ‘recommended $50,000,000 to support the Sustainable Communities Initiative.’”

Last June we warned in our Metrorail: Is Loudoun Losing Control of Its Future? – –

“If the Loudoun County supervisors bind their jurisdiction to paying the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) for Dulles Rail over coming decades, they will speed homeowners and commuters — those who do not flee elsewhere — into a whirlpool of mounting taxes and tolls against which citizens may be powerless.”

What Is To Be Done?

The cabal that pushed Metrorail to Loudoun through the Board of Supervisors on July 3 likely included crony-capitalists, developers, and construction firms who didn’t care a fig whether or not they were implementing the president’s long-term plan for income redistribution. 

And many state and local Virginia politicians, with a few notable — but marginalized — exceptions, are big-governmentalists (“It’s all right as long as its not done by Washington, D. C.”). They certainly can’t distinguish business-friendly from market-friendly actions.

They are more likely interested in the immediate political payoff from starting vanity public works than in slowing down the Hard Left’s plan for transforming our daily life.

Loudoun Opt-Out has done good work in bringing citizens together to spotlight the deeply flawed Metrorail to Loudoun scheme.

But the same political and business forces behind that multi-billion-dollar slice of pork are doubtless waiting in northern Virginia to carry out and profit from the next steps in the president’s plan.

Stanley Kurtz sums up the Administration plan – –

“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. “

The open question is whether energetic and informed Virginia citizens can effectively organize not just to fight one flawed giant-government transportation scheme, but to push back with vigilance against the entirety of the president’s plan as it touches the Commonwealth.

The response must be an alternate vision.

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