by Bill Lockwood
“A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government …” (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801).
From the days of the Progressives in the late 19th century until today, the march of failed ungodly socialism as a government concept continues unopposed in any meaningful manner. The History of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a perfect example. Beginning in 1892 when Congress appropriated $20,000 for the Secretary of Labor to “study slums” in American cities through the Public Works Administration of Franklin Roosevelt which Hamilton Fish (R-NY) rightly called “a concrete example of the socialistic tendencies of the New Deal,” the American experiment in freedom is foundering because of government interference programs such as HUD.
But no matter. Utopian meddlers such as President Obama continue pushing headlong toward a totalitarian cliff of destruction. Adding more regulations supposedly designed to help “diversify” America’s wealthier neighborhoods, he recently announced a new HUD program aimed at ending deep-rooted racial and financial segregation in America. As every other unconstitutional federal agency and program, HUD’s mission has now mutated its purpose. Under Obama’s leftward lead HUD moves from “assisting” the impoverished to restructuring neighborhoods along racial lines. A good reason why government should not be in the redistribution business to begin with.
The result of Obama’s proposal is not hard to see. First, the continuing erosion of freedom. As Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) observed in response, “American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government.” Gosar is courageously leading an effort in the House to block the massive Obama regulations.
Second, the continuing erosion of Americans’ property values. Much of what drives real estate value and cost is the “quality of the surrounding property.” As one blogger wrote, “Wedging lower cost housing into expensive neighborhoods will not result in more minorities living in expensive neighborhoods – it will instead result in there being no such thing as an expensive neighborhood anymore.”
But more than that. Obama’s new HUD scheme will literally disintegrate home equity. Many families have tied their life-savings into home equity and property value as an investment for future retirement or to pass it along to their heirs. But, just as the printing of paper currency by the FED unfairly erodes the value of my dollar in a savings account, so forcibly restructuring neighborhoods violates the very purpose of good government—the protection of my labor.
Third, the continuing theft of the American worker. According to the Cato Institute the public housing subsidies, rental assistance, and housing finance activities have proven to be costly and damaging to the economy. The department’s poor management and misguided policies have led to fraud, corruption, and waste. The department will spend $42 billion in 2015, or about $341 for every U.S. household. It employs 8,600 workers and operates 116 subsidy programs.”
Each and every dollar HUD spends is unconstitutionally confiscated from the American taxpayer but its burgeoning budget reflects the nature of socialism.
What Does Freedom Look Like? The Cato Institute website summarizes well. “The Department of Housing and Urban Development intervenes in housing and community activities that should be the responsibility of local governments and the private sector.”
To see what freedom looks like– for regrettably, Americans need to be reminded at this point– glance at the churches. What population mixes are there? A typical residential southern community will have a large proportion of minorities and western neighborhoods are heavily influenced by the Hispanic population. Government may mix them all together in housing, but left to their own free choice, as in the places they choose to worship, the picture looks very different.
It is possible in one community to worship with a mixed-race congregation but at the same time in the same township one may find several black churches, white churches, Hispanic churches or Asian churches. Why is this? Left alone, which is the proper role of government, some people prefer mingling among people with whom they feel they have more in common. This is the result of individual free choice and not government “churching.”
For example, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is listed as part of the fellowship affiliated with the United Church of Christ denomination. The denomination as a whole is “predominantly white.” Yet, the Trinity Church, in which the Obama’s held membership under Jeremiah Wright, is “predominantly black.” This grouping is the outcome based upon freedom.
Typical for liberal Democrats and socialists, the Obama’s appreciated the free choice, but through HUD are denying other Americans that same freedom in choosing a place to live.