Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities (Interview with Stanley Kurtz)
by RUTH KING
September 18, 2012
Recently there has been a spate of videos and movies and columns detailing the radical past and associations of President Barack Hussein Obama. Long before many of these emerged, Stanley Kurtz's book "Radical In Chief-Barack Obama and The Untold Story of American Socialism" meticulously detailed the trajectory that propelled a young and radical student to the White House to implement his goal of a socialist welfare state in America.
In his new book "Spreading the Wealth- How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities" Kurtz cogently argues, again with meticulous research and detail, that "regionalism" a redistributive agenda which would meld suburbs including their schools, utilities and essential services and taxes into cities, is already in place ready for implementation in a second Obama administration.
This is not a new idea and has its roots in the community organizers who trained our President with the argument that rich and essentially white people fled to the suburbs leaving the inner cities to struggle with blight, crime ,poverty, homelessness and poor and failing schools.
To correct this, it was argued, required a major redistribution and "equalization' of wealth.
The suburbs, leafy retreats from asphalt and congestion, have been depicted in movies and books as stultifying, middle class, prejudiced, boring and " bourgeois." For community organizers they represented what Kurtz calls "a defect in American structure."
We are familiar with Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Frank Marshall Davis, all of whom contributed to the President's education and radicalization, but what is "Building One America?" Who is Myron Orfield? Who is Mike Kruglik?
They both come from the Gamaliel Foundation which Obama helped to found.....Kruglik as leader and Orfield as "strategic partner. " The Gamaliel Foundation established in 1968 ostensibly as a fair housing group was, in fact, a radical group promoting the thesis that America is a racist society where ruling classes keep themselves in power by racism and greed and promotion of the suburban myth.
Myron Orfield, is described, by a like minded radical as "the most revolutionary politician in urban America".....who.."split the suburbs" in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area to put regional tax base sharing in place." To buttress his case he used spurious maps to prove " financial disparities" between cities and suburbs, for which the only cure is tax base sharing by cities and suburbs.
Mike Kruglik was Obama's boss during his community organizing time. He and Orfield head "Building One America" whose goal is to impede suburban survival and spread with regulations, taxes and fees...all cloaked as "environmental concerns "such as Obama's Sustainable Communities Initiative.
In July of 2011, Kruglik and Orfield met with Obama at the White House, in a forum called "First Suburbs, Inclusion, Sustainability and Economic Growth followed by a private meeting in the Oval Office between Kruglik and the President. Obama's friendships with radicals of his youth have clearly been "sustainable."
Kurtz also discloses ominous efforts to "equalize' education as part of the anti-suburbs initiative. Leftist Linda Darling Hammond, an Ayers acolyte and friend who proposed teaching "social justice " was passed over as Secretary of Education, but she is a key player in the administration's efforts to equalize school standards and tests between suburbs and cities by imposing a government standard on schools. Darling Hammond does not rest with attacking "sexuality, race, and gender privilege"....she also derides ‘white, middle class, suburban America."
These are just a few of the people and programs that Stanley Kurtz writes about in this alarming, informing and essential book. More than any movie, column or documentary, Kurtz goes where no one else has gone in detailing the dangerous leftist agenda of a second term Obama presidency with programs and key players that are already in place. Read it.
Stanley Kurtz has graciously agreed to an interview.
RK: Please describe Obama's Sustainable Communities Initiative.
SK: Obama has been a long-time supporter of the "regional equity movement," whose goal is to block suburban growth and redistribute the wealth of America's suburbs to the cities. Members of the "regionalist" movement have a three-part plan to achieve this result. First, use a combination of development boundaries, fees on driving and parking, and neglect of highway-building and maintenance to pressure suburbanites back into densely-packed urban centers. There they will travel by public transportation instead of cars, while their taxes will flow to city governments instead of suburbs. Second, force suburbs to build low-income public-housing projects to draw the urban poor out of cities. Third, use "regional tax-base sharing" plans to redistribute suburban tax money to the cities. If you follow this three-part plan-pressing suburbanites back to the cities, forcing the urban poor out to the suburbs, and redistributing the wealth of the remaining suburbanites-you will have effectively undercut the suburbs.
Obama's Sustainable Communities Initiative identifies advocates of these policies in communities around the country and provides them with federal money and official recognition. If Obama gets a second term, grantees will produce plans for their regions that recommend these sorts of policies. At that point, Obama will have the option of conditioning various sorts of federal aid on local adherence to these plans. If a re-elected Obama takes the same sort of regulatory hard-line on this issue as he has on others, it could have a transformative effect on the country, doing tremendous damage to the liberty and prosperity of America's suburbs in the process.
RK: Please explain the term "common resource standards" and their impact on education.
SK: Obama has already gone much further than most Americans realize in imposing a national K-12 curriculum on the country. Constitutionally, the federal government has no authority over our schools. Yet by threatening to withhold Race to the Top funding, Obama has forced 45 states to sign on to "Common Core" standards. This will result, not in higher standards, but in a dumbed-down and politically-correct national K-12 curriculum. On top of that, Obama's leftist education allies are now proposing "common resource standards" to supplement the new national curricular standards. That would force school systems in a given state to equalize their spending levels or forfeit federal aid. Obama has appointed a commission to spell out how this sort of policy could be put in place. So in a second term, we may see heavy federal pressure on states to redistribute suburban education funding to city schools.
RK: Please tell us about Peter Dreier.
SK: Peter Dreier is a prominent theorist of socialism, regionalism, and community organizing. Dreier advised the Obama campaign in 2008 and his work has been tremendously influential in the world of community organizing where Obama got his start. Dreier has laid out strategies for redistributing the wealth of America's suburbs to the cities in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. The overall pattern of the Obama administration's policies bears an uncanny resemblance to the strategies described by Dreier.
RK: Please tell us about the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Kalle Lasn. While Nancy Pelosi was quite sympathetic Obama was rather silent. Why?
SK: Kalle Lasn is the anarchist activist who inspired the creation of Occupy Wall Street. His goal, and the goal of the core Occupy organizers, was to start a revolution that would "kill capitalism." Democrats closed their eyes to OWS's anti-capitalist radicalism and jumped on the Occupy bandwagon, hoping for a grassroots movement that could do for them what the Tea Party did for the Republicans. This shows how badly the Democrats have lost their way. Obama flirted with OWS as well, but kept enough distance to protect himself lest the movement's radicalism discredit him. Republicans ought to have done more to hold Democrats to account for their support of this lawless, anti-capitalist movement.
RK: Large cities such as Los Angeles and New York have inner suburbs and pockets of wealth. Would they be omitted in the Obama agenda?
SK: Obama would like to create an alliance between urban state legislators and less-well-off inner-ring suburban state legislators. He'd like to see these two groups gang up on the more prosperous suburbs to force them into "tax-sharing" schemes. Obama has already laid the groundwork for a campaign to bring tax-sharing to the suburbs in a second term, although the media has failed to report it.
RK: Arne Duncan is our present Secretary of Education and a defender of education standards. However, last week he warned that the House Budget would mean "fewer teachers in the classroom, fewer resources for poor kids and students with disabilities, and fewer after school programs." He was the CEO of Chicago public schools. Will he survive and is he also a closet "redistributionist.?"
SK: Duncan was selected Secretary of Education after Obama's likely first choice, the much more radical Linda Darling-Hammond, became politically toxic, even among Democrats. Darling-Hammond is quietly running the Common Core operations that the Obama administration has orchestrated, and she is pushing for "common resource standards" as well. Darling-Hammond's leftist goals are much closer to Obama's real agenda than Duncan's more moderate stance. Darling-Hammond has been able to make more progress working behind the scenes than she would have had she become a super-controversial Secretary of Education. I see Duncan as more of a figurehead. Darling-Hammond's agenda is the real agenda, and this will become more evident if Obama gets a second term, whoever sits in the Secretary of Education's chair.
RK: President Obama took bold measures after inauguration in health care. What do you think would be his first bold measure if he gets a second term?
SK: Obama may re-submit his cap-and-trade bill to Congress, but if the Republicans hold the House and/or take the Senate, Obama's strategy will continue to focus on the aggressive use of his regulatory powers. Already, his imposition of the Common Core education standards and his gutting of the work requirements in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act have very arguably been illegal. A federal court recently voided his attempt to impose cap-and-trade via EPA regulations rather than through legislation. With four more years to appoint judges, Obama's regulatory power-grab may become unstoppable. The Tea Party to rise up against obviously transformative legislation like Obamacare. But would the Tea Party rebel against Obama's stealthier regulatory abuses? That is the question.
RK: Thank you Stanley Kurtz for your excellent book and for this second opportunity to interview you for Family Security Matters.
Ruth King is a freelance writer. She has written a book and articles on gardening, and also writes a monthly column in OUTPOST, the publication of Americans for a Safe Israel.