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Stop Subsidizing Irresponsibility

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

In a tortured way, it all now makes sense. Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the expression that police represent the thin blue line that stands between us and anarchy. While it seems like insanity to most rational people, if the objective is anarchy, then eliminating that blue line is critical. 


The movement to defund the police is blossoming. Proponents have now enlisted support from a significant number of elected officials and celebrities. The Minneapolis City Council is leading the pack. Given the fact that scores of buildings in the city were looted and burned, council members may have felt intimidated. They saw their boy mayor booed and didn't want angry mobs outside their homes. They have now voted unanimously to move forward with defunding the police. 

Looney leaders of Seattle thought they could placate Antifa anarchists by surrendering a precinct. Behold, a new nation, Chaz! Having never learned that feeding the crocodile only whets its appetite, the mayor made clear that President Trump should butt out. 

We loudly concur!

With a straight face, the Washington governor pretended he knew nothing about the new autonomous nation established within his borders. The left messed their nests; let them clean them up. They made this bargain with the Devil; it’s their job to fix it.  

It was liberal mayors and governors who allowed demonstrations to morph into riots and looting. They ordered their police to stand down. The same politicians are now lining up for bailouts to clean up and rebuild their burned-out cities. Why should taxpayers in Owatonna be forced to pay for the gross incompetence of elected officials in Minneapolis? They didn’t start fires or loot liquor stores. They didn’t surrender the Third Precinct. They certainly didn’t vote for any of the lunatics who now want to defund the police. Those big-city politicians now want everyone else to pay extra taxes to cover their buffoonery. 


Nuts to that!

There is a very good policy reason to say no to any bailouts. If you subsidize irresponsibility you will surely get more of it. Minneapolis has a massive tax base. If business people (who pay a disproportionate share of the taxes) leave the city, city officials might better appreciate the need to protect business property in the future. If local property taxpayers are required to pay for the incompetence of the people they elect, a jolt of higher property taxes might affect their vote. 

Elections do indeed have consequences.

For decades Minneapolis has been the recipient of a generous largesse from suburban and out-of-state taxpayers. They got help with stadiums, arenas and infrastructure. Their expensive light rail system is paid for largely by people who will never use it. They have tweaked local government and school aid formulas to their benefit. Their generous social welfare programs are subsidized by taxpayers who don’t vote in Minneapolis. All allowing liberal politicians to spread the lucre, buying votes with other taxpayers’ money. 

One of the dividing lines between the right and the left is the respective views on responsibility. The left largely believes that people should not be held responsible for their own behavior; this includes looting and rioting. This view drives their thinking on the entire spectrum of issues from abortion to crime. It’s the reason the mayor of Seattle called the thugs, who are denying her access to her office, “patriots.” Street-tough young men aren’t responsible for skewed crime statistics. The police are. Abortion is justified because people “find” themselves pregnant; they don’t “get” pregnant. 


It’s easy to assuage people by telling them that they aren’t really responsible, that they are victims. We make people even more irresponsible that way. 

Right thinking people understand that free societies require an underpinning of personal responsibility. Successful businesses practice the principle of giving people authority and then holding them responsible for their decisions and actions. Legislators should finally do the same and hold city leaders responsible. 

It’s time to say enough. If city officials are determined to kneel before anarchists and allow their cities to burn. If they choose to defund the thin blue line, let them do it on their own dime. It is critical that we force them to accept the consequences of their folly.

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