Monday, April 11, 2005

In case you missed it...

From David S. Broder in the Washington Post on Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) reduction and transfer of its responsibility to the Department of Commerce:

Time was when presidents not only listened to mayors, they sought their advice. HUD has been run by former mayors throughout much of its history, but this is an administration whose political base stretches outward from city boundaries through the suburbs and into the gloriously red precincts of exurbia and rural townships.
For Bush, city voters are no more than an afterthought, so why not put a vital urban program into a department where bottom-line corporate thinking is the norm?
So who benefits with Bush's plan? Probably the auto industry, the construction industry, the oil industry, the logging industry, WAL-MART... basically everyone who benefits from sprawl and urban decay (in whichever order that actually occurs). Basically, all Bush is doing is creating disinsentives to investing in the inner cities and urban areas, increasing the development of greenfields, and increasing our dependence on the automobile (and oil).

Fortunately, it seems that enough moderate Republicans are concerned enough about their own districts (and they're own necks) that this plan may never make it through...


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