Does Obama want to abolish and loot the suburbs?

Sadie found the article quoted below (Thank you, Sadie!).  It makes some sense and would be particularly easy to do in counties like the one I live in (Alameda, CA) which include a major inner city (Oakland) and large suburbs (Fremont, Union City, Hayward).  It would be a bit harder to do in counties like San Francisco, which are coterminous with the city.  But, I suppose a “region”could contain several counties, such as the entire San Francisco Bay Area, which already has several multi-county governmental units in place.  Your reactions?

Does Obama Want to Abolish and Loot the Suburbs?

by Keith Koffler on August 1, 2012, 2:49 pm
A provocative and interesting piece by Stanley Kurtz in the National Review suggests that one of the ways President Obama is seeking to “spread the wealth around” is to snatch the taxes paid by those who have “made it” and moved to the outer suburbs and share the loot with their less successful, urban based neighbors.
The effort, Kurtz writes, is falling largely under the radar because it is presented as an environmental and stress-reducing beautification program known as the anti-suburban sprawl movement.
Suburban sprawl theorists argue that the spreading out of populations to the far suburbs abolishes wonderful farmland, wastes land that could be devoted to parks and recreation, results in ugly McMansions, and pollutes because of the distances required driving to work, to the mall, to your friend’s house, and so forth.
The solution is to bunch people into smaller urbanized living areas, suburban sprawl experts say, while expanding public transportation to get them the now shortened distances they need to go.
But Kurtz says these people are really after successful people’s tax dollars, which they will have to share with the less well off neighbors they thought they’d left behind.
I’ll let him explain.
The ultimate goal of the 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.
Obama, Kurtz says, supports this agenda, and would focus on it during a second term, once he has collected the votes of the very suburban soccer moms he wants to urbanize.
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  • JKB

    I’d say it is less Obama and more the Democrats.  Obama certainly isn’t against it but much of what has to happen for “regional” taxation is at the state/local level.  In my county, the city has started rumbling for metro government and throwing around how the county folks shouldn’t use the roads and such in the city.  No mention about that tax base is a sales tax so everyone who shops in the city supports the city.  They still have annexation plans but they ran into a bad history problem.  Seems they neglected to extend full services to some areas they annexed 30 years ago although they sure collected the sewer, etc. tax for those 30 years.

    I thought about renting a billboard and posting on the approach to the city, the comments about those not from the city being interlopers.  Not the best rhetoric for a town dependent on tourism.

  • JKB

    Maggie’s farm had a link in their morning links to a post by oldurbanist who got all excited about commute times and the end of suburban sprawl as 30 min seems to be the limit.  So there was the wonderful dreams of urban crowding for the unwashed.   

    But as this post (Is Self-Service Education Entirely A Bad Thing? | Josh Blackman’s Blog), on face time in law education reveals, face to face time is increasing becoming the old fogies problem.  Them kids won’t get off the lawn and prefer texting to “getting in your face”.  So the future, may not need the freeway to permit people to escape the urban cesspools. 

    I can’t find the post but Walter Russell Mead had a good post on the next leap in speed will have to be in communications time since we are pretty much at the limit of physical speed increases until the transporter comes on line.  But an entire generation is coming online who text each other while in the same room, so the physical separation may not be a problem for them when it comes to teamwork and such. 

    In regards to the “regional taxation,” well, we Americans pretty much require representation with our taxation.  That means voting in people who’ll move services out of the decaying urban centers and out to where the new voters are.  They seem to forget one thing about the migration out of cities, due to “Curley” Effect (urban mayors pushing out middle class voters to shore up their constituency) that created Democrat majorities in the decaying urban cities.  Well, now for some reason, they want those suburban voters back but they don’t always vote the way the urban victims did.   If they push this regional taxation, I’d expect to see thousands of Sarah Palins rise up to do the soccer/hockey mom takeover for better schools and such.  

  • Ymarsakar

    gun control laws=looting.

  • Mike G.

    It’s all part of Agenda 21 and Obama is all for it. It’s about moving people from the suburbs and rural areas into cluster cities, mass transit and the complete cessation of development in what the UN calls biospheres. If you draw a line from the NE tip of Alabama up to the upper reaches of the Adirondacks in NY, everyone living on that line would have to move. It’s about resources and control. Besides mineral wealth, there’s a lot of water coming off those water sheds.
    As far as cities, the Atlanta metropolitan area encompasses ten counties. But most of the urban sprawl is inside of the fifty mile plus I-285 Loop around the city.

  • JKB

    But the city serves not modern purpose.  We no long need to crowd into urban gulags to conduct business, interact with others or come together for common purpose.  The city died in 1948 as more and more People chose freedom over squalor.  The Left dream of this time, of teeming cities with mindless masses controlled by Democrat machine politics.  But that time is dead.  We broke the limitations of space with faster transportation and we are breaking the limitations of location with new skills and technologies for interacting at a distance.  

    As people interact with a wider world of others, they will slowly return to freedom of thought.  The cattle now use the technology to stay in the bubble but the truth is out there, it cannot be called back once set free.  The media will focus on the loner who goes a little nutty but the bulk will simply work in a larger more diverse pond.  

    Of course the opposing force to this regionalization is already in place.  The Tea Party is out there and can organize new blood for the city councils and regional boards.  If those people can avoid the corruption, this plan will return the cities to the control of the productive not control of the productive to the cities.

    Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are catchpenny phrases. There is much of the former, but very little of the latter. Speech is generally the result of automatic thought rather than of ratiocination. Independent thought is of all mental processes the most difficult and the most rare; habit, tradition, and reverence for antiquity unite to forbid it, and these combined influences are strengthened by the law of heredity. The tendency to automatic action of the mind is still further promoted by the environment of modern life. The crowding of populations into cities, and the division and subdivision of labor in the factory and the shop, and even in the so-called learned professions, have a tendency to increase the dependence of the individual upon the mass of society. And this interdependence of the units of society renders them more and more imitative, and hence more and more automatic both mentally and physically. 

  • jj

    Lomg, long ago (quite a while, it began in the 1950s), New York tried a version of this sort of stuff, mostly by raising what were jocularly referred to as “user fees.”  Tolls, city taxes on everything in sight, etc., etc.  And they stole a fair amount of other people’s money, I guess, until an interesting thing began happening.  The CEOs of lots of companies, who lived on the north shore of Long Island and along the Sound in Connecticut began calling their board chairs and board members, who were their neighbors, and all of a sudden whole companies began opening new headquarters in Nassau County and in Fairfield County, Ct.  They were fed up rising early to spend two hours commuting in to the city to get screwed.  So they stopped doing it, and New York City’s commercial base began dissolving like sand castles in an incoming tide.  New York is headquarters to about a tenth as many corporations as it was in 1960, and at this point they’re fighting hard to keep the Stock Exchange, whose board has on more than one occasion already said: “take Wall Street and jam it inch by inch up…” – well, you know where.  (The Exchange these days is living pretty close to free, as the city strains to find incentives to keep them, because without them Wall Street becomes an instant desert.  When they go, so do the remaining financial firms – the few that haven’t decamped already – and you can turn Wall Street into tennis courts.
     It works both ways, as little BO undoubtedly has yet to figure out.  Ed Koch and David Dinkins could tell him, if anybody can tell him anything.  An amazing number of New Yorkers these days ain’t from, and have damn little interest in or use for, New York.

  • lee

    just some random observations from my time in Marin:

    Awhile back, I took a green building seminar during which we had a little group excercise in which we were to discuss the way by which “urban” dwelling could be encouraged. When the groups shared the answers, it brought back a strwnge familiarity? Where had I heqrd this before? Oh, yes! Marx’s “Communist Manifesto.” Read the details on my blog:  It’s a few years old, but still holds water!

    It also staryed to annoy the aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks out of me the way tree-hugging jacka$$e$ would go nuts over preserving open space in California. Almost fifty percent of the state is publically owned. Admittedly, some of that includes courthouses deep in the center of urban-dom, but still… Fifty percent of that state? As adorable as some of the farms in Marin are, does it make sense to artifilally prop them up, while killing off agriculature in the Central/San Joaquin Valley?

    Did you know that building a large multi-unit complex in Marin is about five times the cost per door in terms of permitting and fees than building something comparable in San Francisco? Forty-five-thousand vs. nine thousand! Sure, it has to do with every agency–school district, fire district, sanitary district, water district, city and county–all want their slice of the pie. And in San Francisco, it’s really one city with different sub-agencies. But it helps stifle development in “suburbia” while making more feasible only in the urban center. But even then, the only development is high-density housing. (Visions of “Brazil” keep floating through my brain. With Robert DeNiro repelling down the side.)

    When I first moved to the Bay Area, the way I would remember which direction involved paying a toll was that they wanted to keep people out of San Francisco. When I was living in Marin, and they were talking about establishing a toll for Doyle Drive, I was fuming. They really wanted to gouge a pound of flesh from us! (And not all of us were multi-million dollar home dwellers in Belvedere.)

    I am at once entertained, and horrified reading EIR’s. For always the recommendwtion is to leave it.  

  • Mike G.

    @ Lee
    The link to your old blog post came up as a dead link.

  • lee

    (Issues with my browser forced me to post before I wa done ramnling.)

    EIR’s: They always seem to recommend, if it is nominally “undeveloped” (i.e., not a lot of buildings) to leave it. This, even if it had previously been used, oh, let’s say and asphalt plant where kerosene was used to wash the trucks and oodles of soil remediation needs to be done. If nothing is not to be done, then it might be acceptable to subdivide into HUGE parcels (of ten acres or more) and build one single-family resident on each parcel.EIR’s are a scam. Some wacky “consultant”gets paid an incredible some of money to come up with an excuse to block development.
     Continuing the random thoughts:
     It’s getting so the only people who can build housing are extremely wealthy individuals or extremely large developers building extremely large developments. Gone are the days of getting a small parcel and building a dream house, (or at least a semi-dream house.) Permitting, development requirements, it’s all a mess designed to drive you screaming into a pre-existing home someone else built.

    Oh,’yeah! And how ’bout those government bureaucrats who drive businesses out of business by holding up other permits? Google “Pine Mountain Inn Venture County” and see how Venture County is messing with a business in the hills. Because a bar/inn should just be in the city, not in the lovely hills above.

  • lee
  • lee

    Heck! That doesn’t seem to work either. And I cannot copy and paste here. Try this: Once there,’choose “Show all blog posts” and scroll down to 2008 for “Green is the New Red!” There is a lovely picture of a green Soviet flag been hoisted over the Reichstag. Failing that,’just go down to 2008, February, over on the right side of the page.

  • lee

    one more random thought: ABAG! The Association of Bay Area Governments is a quasi-goverrnmental group forcing “low-income housing” in compliance with Step Two outline by Kurtz. They have no standing to do so (as far as I can discern) and yet they get away with it. It’s also a big mover and shaker in trying to implement Steps One and Three as well.

    Not to mention the role that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Part of CARB) and the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board. (Part of SWRCB.) While admittedly, storm water and watersheds do affect a region,what SFRWQCB essentially does is rob Peter (suburban Bay Area) to pay Paul (San Francisco/Oakland–but mostly San Francisco.) Ditto BAAQMD. (And if younthink it’s bad in the Bay–SCAQMD is even worse!!! Orange County, and parts of Riverside and San Bernadino Counties shovel oodles and oodles of money to LA thanks to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

    I figured out the problem with my link–I typed the address incorrectly:
    Sorry for the confusion I cause!!! If someone at the Bookworm Room could delete my comment at No. 10 above (with the second WRONG version of the address) It’d be really nice if you could edit my post above to put in the correct address, but I don’t know if you can….

  • Ymarsakar

    The city is basically a magnet for crime, looters, and ready to made cannibals come the Z apocalypse.