Let's Keep Them From "Going Wobbly"

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A few months ago, I noted an effort by the Obama Administration to basically federalize zoning for egalitarian purposes. Back then, I quoted a Washington Post story:

Under Obama's proposed rule, the federal government will collect massive amounts of data on the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of thousands of local communities, looking for signs of "disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets." Then the government will target communities with results it doesn't like and use billions of dollars in federal grant money to bribe or blackmail them into changing their zoning and housing policies.
Yesterday, Power Line further characterized this as follows, starting with a silver lining, tarnished though it may be:
This week marks the moment of truth for the effort to defund President Obama's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation -- a stunningly ambitious attempt to force Americans to change the way they live. AFFH seeks to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity.
Defunding is hardly a final solution to this attack on property rights, but it is a worthy goal because it could buy time to fight for better government protection of property rights. As a result, and because this defunding effort is hanging by a thread, I think that the following action is warranted:
To maximize the chances that Congress decides correctly, I urge you to contact the offices of Speaker McConnell and Speaker Ryan immediately, while there is still time to influence their impending decision.
That said, I must state that, "control[ling] where and what is built in their community" is not a proper function of government on any level. Furthermore, as I argued months ago, it is local land use regulations that have set the dangerous precedent of trampling property rights that Obama is preparing to cash in on now. Even so, if advocates of property rights make such an argument, stopping the rot at the local level can be a useful battle to win in this larger war.

-- CAV

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