I was reading this column in the Sunday paper — in an oddity of the joint operating agreement here, the Freep produces nearly all of the Sunday paper, except for one page, which is the News’ editorial page — and it’s paywalled, so sorry. But it’s so strange. Headline: Finley: Biden loots treasury for parks and trails
Finley is Nolan Finley, the News’ long-serving (as in, he’s spent his entire career there, nestling in the bosom of long-term job security, union protection and a salary that is no doubt a soft, soft featherbed) editorial-page editor. He’s local journalism’s Most Respected Conservative, which means he generally has a few more brain cells to rub together than the talk-radio clowns, and gets tapped to moderate panels at conferences, stuff like that. He’s been a pretty consistent Never Trumper, so he has that going for him, but then, every so often, he craps out something like this:
Joe Biden threw a brick through the window of the U.S. Treasury, and states and cities across the country followed him inside to cart off parks, libraries, gleaming new civic buildings and shopping baskets full of other stuff their own budgets could have never paid for.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act has created a fantasy land where local politicians can spend as much as they want on whatever they want without having to worry about waking up with a fiscal hangover.
…Canton Township is getting the downtown the suburb has always wanted. The Joe Louis Greenway is getting a leap ahead on building out 27.5 miles of trails. Taylor is getting an action park. Wyandotte is getting an upgraded post office. Melvindale is getting a boat launch and Trenton is getting rid of an old hospital. A dozen more place-making projects will sprout throughout the county.
This is, I expect, a continuation of what we talked about a few days back, more evidence that Biden is no longer trusting block grants in the hands of red-state governors and is instead writing checks directly to municipalities. To which any reasonable person who isn’t a multimillionaire might say: So? What’s the problem? Better a greenway than another tax break to buy more Porterhouses at their private clubs. The problem, Finley says, is?
And what do taxpayers get? The worst inflation in 40 years, and interest rates hikes that have been slow in turning it around largely because the furious federal spending continues.
Then there’s some blah-blah about the national debt, which is never blah-blah’ed when we’re doling out something the right wants, particularly the aforementioned tax cuts.
I no longer try to understand people like this, but I never stop wondering at the meanness required to complain about public money going to public amenities like parks and improved town squares.
But that’s just me.
OK, then! The week ahead: Fox News goes on trial, and who knows? Maybe we’ll get lucky and a new park will fall in our laps.