When they are not announcing things that they want to take away from us, like hamburgers and plastic straws, the Democratic presidential candidates promise a lot of free stuff, such as free health care and free college education. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is no exception.
While he wants to take all of our “assault” weapons away from us, Beto has an outside the box goody to offer anyone who wants to vote for him for president. The Federalist explains:
“2020 Democratic White House hopeful and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Monday that it was a ‘right’ for people to live close to their place of employment.
“Living close to work shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich. It’s a right for everyone,’ O’Rourke wrote on Twitter accompanied by a video showing the candidate speaking at a campaign stop.
“In the video, O’Rourke made the case for federal spending on mixed-income housing and better public transportation to enable people to live closer to work and reduce their carbon footprint.”
Kudus should be given to the candidate for original thinking. He could not promise everyone a job since unemployment is plunging due to the Trump economy. So, he offered a shorter, less stressful commute. For anyone who has had to battle traffic from the suburbs to the big city or take long rides on the train and/or bus, the offer must be beguiling. If the goal must be achieved by more hundreds of billions to create affordable housing, something that has failed in the past few decades, then it’s a small price to pay.
Except, according to the Washington Examiner, the Trump administration has got this one:
“But right now, there is cross-ideological agreement that local zoning and regulatory restrictions are a significant barrier to building more affordable housing and creating more housing density. Breaking down zoning barriers has an appeal to the free market, limited government conservatives, but also to liberals who see the classism and racism at the heart of NIMBYism (Not in My Back Yard).
“The Ben Carson-led Department of Housing and Urban Development, last year, released a report on regulatory barriers to affordable housing, which concluded, ‘Evidence suggests that regulatory barriers and NIMBY opposition are significant factors in affordable housing challenges, particularly in markets with strong job and population growth,’ and offered various actions state and local governments could take to break down those barriers.”
Of course, the reform of housing regulation and resisting NIMBYism will take the initiative of state and local governments, especially in blue parts of the country, which caused the problem in the first place.
In any case, sometime in the future, we are assured, commutes are going to be a lot less brutal when driverless, electric cars become common. Then everyone can take a nap while on the road, not just the rich and adventurous who may be a little too trusting of Tesla’s self-driving features.
Companies such as Uber are designing flying cars that can whisk people from the suburbs to business centers in minutes, bypassing gridlocked highways. Beto might as well forget about his expensive plans to build mixed-income housing to reduce commute time. The private sector has got this.
In the meantime, Beto has come into considerable mockery from Hot Air, among other places. Most analysts believe that the O’Rourke campaign, stuck at about three percent in the polls, is in the end stage, Beto is just flailing about, grabbing proposal he can to try to garner attention and hopefully votes.
“This is why so many people, lefties included, are skeptical of O’Rourke’s passionate “f*** it” mode: He’s fundamentally unserious. His proposals seem crafted with little regard for how they might be implemented or what unintended consequences they might create and with maximum regard for their applause quotient.
The rap on him from the start among lefties was that he was long on charisma and short on policy chops compared to Bernie and Warren. Ironically, he’s proving their point in straining so hard to tell them what they want to hear.”
Many political analysts believe that the lack of regard as to how policies can be implemented and what the unintended consequences might be is not exclusive to Beto O’Rourke. Anyone who has proposed a variant of the Green New Deal certainly shares those tendencies.
But, as Hot Air suggested, the applauds line is all that matters. If O’Rourke were to be elected – unlikely in the few of just about everyone – then would be the time to figure out how or whether to implement the campaign promises.