A number of Democrat-run cities are debating paying slavery reparations to black residents, with the most generous, of course, being San Francisco, where the uber-liberal leaders think that $5 million sounds like a reasonable amount to pay people who never were slaves in a state that never allowed slavery, paid for by taxpayers who never owned slaves, all in the name of “justice.”
But Matt Lamb at the Washington Examiner reports that it’s not so simple to right the wrongs of history by giving away free money. The city of Evanston, Illinois, launched a reparations program for victims of housing discrimination between 1919 and 1969 and their descendants. It’s turned into a confusing, underfunded nightmare, and it only pays a limited number of people $25,000 each.
Determining who qualifies became a major headache. Some residents rejected it, claiming it’s not nearly enough money. Others are afraid to take it because it’s just enough money to disqualify them for state aid programs that they’re already on. Meanwhile, it was supposed to be paid for by a tax on legal cannabis, but that didn’t work out as expected, so they’re having to take the money out of other needed city funds.
(And if you think a cannabis tax couldn’t possibly fail in California, check this out. Leftist policies and taxes can destroy any business, even selling pot named after Jerry Garcia in San Francisco!)
Lamb writes that the functional flaw in any reparations program is that no matter how much money it gives away, someone will always complain that it’s not enough or that they’re left out. This is why it’s better for cities and states to address the wrongs of the past by looking to the future and making sure they aren’t repeated, not trying to undo history with “free money” and new government programs.
It all goes to show that both running cities and rewriting history are very complicated jobs. They should only be entrusted to smart people. And on that note, Kurt Schlichter has a reparations proposal a lot of us can get behind: the stupid people who have ruined our cities and country should have to pay reparations to the rest of us for the damage they’ve caused.