Today, my article with Dr. Henry Miller on ObamaCare’s “Community Transformation Grants” debuts in Defining Ideas, a journal of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
The article exposes the grants’ Nanny State implications by examining a similar program already being implemented by the Centers for Disease Control called “Communities Putting Prevetion to Work” (CPPW). I’ve written about this program before in National Review Online and how it’s shaping public health policy in many American cities. Here is just one additional example of where some of those taxpayer dollars are going:
$15 million to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to “make healthy foods more available and affordable by dramatically expanding the number of farmers’ markets in low-income neighborhoods and by creating 1,000 healthy corner stores that sell fresh produce and water. Unhealthy foods will be removed from school stores and fundraisers, and a citywide pedestrian and bike plan will be completed.” Whatever they choose to call it, this is a federal welfare program, and a heavy-handed one at that. And like other federal welfare programs, it will be prone to rampant corruption, abuse, and fraud. We will see more pedestrian paths where people do not walk, and bike lanes where people don’t bike (which, interestingly, are already found in South Philadelphia).
But what is perhaps most disturbing about this new $100 million chunk of ObamaCare deficit spending, which is in addition to the taxdollars already being spent on the aforementioned CPPW grants, is its true purpose, to create a political infrastructure to persuade local governments to implemet these Nanny State policies:
The political implications are as troubling as the content of the projects themselves. For instance, expect federally-funded efforts to change laws at the local level. Because it is illegal to use federal dollars for lobbying, the CDC has issued emphatic pro forma denials that the funds will be used for lobbying. But it has acknowledged that the grants are going to promote local policy changes. This reduces the meaning of the verb “to lobby” to partisan squabbling. The reality is that if conservatively-oriented non-profit organizations were to engage in the same activity, the IRS would label it “lobbying.”
You can read the whole article at Defining Ideas.