Every so often, whether we are in election season or not, there always seems to be a discussion or two about those who seek to redistribute wealth. Funny thing is, it only ever seems to be an accusation thrown in the direction of liberal politicians who are accused of wanting to take from the rich and give to the poor. The contradiction of course is that redistribution of wealth works both ways and has since probably the beginning of time. It works in favor of home owners (ever heard of the mortgage deduction), seniors, and of course businesses large and small (think replacement of Michigan Business Tax with a corporate income tax and the tax on pensions that was implemented to fund it).
So the next time you hear about how certain people want to take from the rich and give to the poor, think about how redistribution of wealth is benefitting you personally.
But I digress, because I am not writing today to mainly discuss the contradictions in the social aspect of “redistribution of wealth” but the community building aspect. That’s right, community building aspect. A recent article by Stanley Kurtz claims that the President and other political leaders in Northeast Ohio are poised to redistribute wealth from the suburbs to the cities. Mr. Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Policy Center and has recently released a book titled, “Spreading the Wealth, How Obama is robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities”.
Mr. Kurtz’s claim is that under the moniker of “regionalism”, President Obama aims to help Ohio’s Democrats bail out struggling cities in that state by forcibly transferring suburban tax money to urban areas.
Of course efforts on “regionalism” are not just an issue in Ohio. Here in Michigan, with state revenues to local government cut by over $4 billion during the last decade, local governments have been collaborating for years to provide essential services in the most cost effective and efficient manner as possible.
What strikes me odd about Mr. Kurtz’s arguments and others who espouse such views is that such actions being taken by local governments the Cleveland area, in Michigan and elsewhere around the country seem to be the exact policy that those on the “right” side of the political spectrum would support. What is more business- like than finding ways to collaborate and spend taxpayer dollars as wisely as possible by exploring every opportunity to work together.
As for the “redistribution of wealth” argument, a recent article in DC Streetsblog, shows that over the years, the redistribution has been mostly in favor of the suburbs, not the cities.
Isn’t it about time we put aside the so-called red herring known as “redistribution of wealth” and simply worked on what makes sense in this time of finite resources. That being, to invest the taxpayer dollar where we can get the biggest bang for the buck in places where infrastructure already exists, and where there are already assets to build upon.