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Just What We Need

Obama-Biden Transition Team co-chair Valerie Jarrett said on NPR that Barack Obama will move ahead with his plan to create an “Office of Urban Policy.”

So, what will this new office do that various government agencies don’t already do?

[T]ake all of those different agencies and have a comprehensive approach to our urban development, and so having someone in the White House who’s going to be an advocate for cities and who can take all the variety of different federal programs and help target them in a logical and systematic way I think is part of what president-elect Obama was trying to get at by this position.

At least Sarah Palin’s gibberish didn’t cost tax payers millions while simultaneously bloating government. Can’t all those agency heads just start a Facebook group and leave our money out of it?

As with Lyndon Johnson’s National Endowment for the Arts, or Jimmy Carter’s establishment of the dumb and dumber Department of Education and Department of Energy, we will be funding the folly of this new office forever.

What’s worse is that useless federal entities go to great lengths to hide their uselessness, and in so doing become worse than useless. Whoever is to occupy the Office of Urban Policy will have to justify a salary, a staff, a letterhead, and a workspace. In order to do that, he or she will begin tinkering with the most vibrant loci of America’s private sector: its cities. Instead of letting what Obama terms “chaotic and unforgiving capitalism” shape the future from the metropolis outward, the Office of Urban Policy will constrain the essential turbulence of American cities with the same wisdom the government has brought to bear in the areas of American art, education, and energy for the past several decades. Here are Obama’s own words, offered when speaking to a Conference of American Mayors this past June:

I’ve laid out an ambitious urban poverty plan that will help . . . create public-private business incubators to open up economic opportunity.

Public-private business incubators? No thanks. We already know what that hatches. The coming Obama years sound more and more like a mad socioeconomic experiment with each passing day. Spread the wealth, bail everyone out, and incubate a state-citizen hybrid. The funny thing about “Yes we can” is that Obama doesn’t seem to think Americans can do much of anything – at least not without his help.



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