Georgia County Cuts the Cord, Refusing Federal “Sustainability” Funds
Another county has joined the list of those refusing to participate in the federal government’s efforts to assume absolute control over housing in the United States.
County commissioners in Forsyth County, Georgia, voted unanimously to reject money from the Obama administration offered in the form of a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program.
A report published in the Forsyth (Georgia) News relates the procedural problems observed by county officials prior to the vote on the HUD grant. The News reported in August:
Prior to the decision, County Attorney Ken Jarrard gave an update of his legal opinions on the county accepting the grant.
One issue with the funding, he said, was a required assessment of fair housing in the county. Previously, applicants had to do an analysis of impediments to fair housing, but a recent change to rules require the assessment.
“Now we have to do what’s called an assessment of fair housing, which is much more involved, which has a unique set of regulations that encompass not only what may be impediments to our needs in Forsyth County, but also how Forsyth County fits in the region as a whole,” Jarrard said.
Other factors required in the assessment were determining which groups were affected by lack of housing, how local policies affect class groups to access low property housing and which groups face higher cost and housing burdens compared to other groups.
The grant would have also required a five-year consolidated plan to address issues, which Jarrard said he was concerned could possibly be used against the county.
In other words, Forsyth County commissioners weren’t willing to enter into a de jure partnership with the federal government giving the latter leverage in the issue of housing — a matter certainly not within the powers granted by the states to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution.
The story estimates that the small Georgia county rejected about $760,000 in federal funds to be distributed in 2017.
Fortunately for the sake of federalism and freedom, there are other municipalities and counties in the union that have likewise rejected federal funds tied to HUD.
The Tenth Amendment Center reports on the spread of the HUD nullification:
Castle Rock, a city of 55,000 people in central Colorado and Wayne County N.J., along with Sedgwick County, Kansas, and Douglas County, Colorado, have all recently refused funds from the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
As is so often the case with federal programs aimed at the environment and housing, the underlying policy is the promotion of “sustainability,” which is globalist newspeak for totalitarianism under one world government.
Here’s the connection as uncovered in an article published by Property Values Defense, a grassroots organization that “unites attorneys, public officials and activists nationwide to stop federal agency overreach”:
HUD, DOT and the EPA have been instrumental in fostering regionalism since 1993. In 2009, the three agencies formed a “Partnership for Sustainable Development” for the express purpose of merging their unique authorities toward the common goal of advancing sustainable regions. In June 2016, the agency also teamed with the Department of Education to promote regional Equity Assistance Centers to advance income integration in elementary and secondary classrooms.
These agencies are working feverishly to infill suburbs by transplanting urban families into the outlying communities, which then merge with nearby counties and towns into larger regions managed by unelected councils.
Even HUD’s new Assessment of Fair Housing, the document applicants must complete to receive AFFH related grants, requires grant recipients to align their local plan with a regional plan.
Collectivism is being forced on Americans under the guise of protecting the environment and providing “affordable housing” to the less advantaged.
The true purpose, of course, is to collect all mankind into urban mega-centers in order to facilitate the imposition of top-down, strong central government rule, otherwise known as global fascism.
The New American’s Alex Newman is a recognized expert on sustainability and the use by its advocates of the principle to abolish national sovereignty and to deprive men of their right to property.
In 2013, Newman revealed the assault on liberty hiding within the Trojan Horse of HUD and its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) program:
Under the new HUD policy, dubbed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” the federal government will gather and track data on “segregation” and “discrimination” across America before deploying a wide range of social-engineering schemes to ensure more “diversity” in U.S. neighborhoods. Some analysts say there is an even broader agenda at work.
While details about the latest anti-constitutional plot remain scarce, news reports and official documents suggest the administration will use a combination of federal bribes and coercion to achieve its aims. The goal, in essence, is to force state and local governments into submission using a “carrot and stick” approach. Among the many federal targets in enforcing centrally planned diversity: local zoning regulations, public transportation, land-use policies, government housing agencies, and more.
To achieve its utopian vision — critics say it is more of Obama’s promised agenda to “fundamentally transform” the country — the administration plans to gather vast amounts of data on American housing patterns. The information will be provided to “participants”: virtually every entity receiving federal taxpayer money via HUD, including state and local governments. Armed with the data, authorities would then have to work toward making the administration’s agenda a reality by changing policies as required.
Admittedly, it is certainly courageous and difficult for cash-strapped communities to turn down federal funds, particularly when the check has so many zeroes.
States, counties, and cities must continue, however, refusing to dance to the tune played by the federal bandleader. They must reinforce American federalism and civil liberties by emphasizing in city and county codes and state laws the sovereignty that exists in states and that exists only on loan to the federal government, no matter how much money the latter can use to bribe the former.
The view of the principle held by the Founders is clearly set out in the document announcing Virginia’s ratification of the proposed Constitution in 1788. In that notice, representatives of the people of Virginia did:
declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purpose….
Housing and Urban Development, though, does all it can to make their money irresistible.
Beware. The favors of the federal government always come at a cost.
The familiar “carrot and stick” gambit is the coin of the realm in D.C. From police to highways, from environmental standards to labor policies, the federal government has stomped its heavy jackboot into all aspects of life — areas that were once the bailiwick of states, cities, or the people themselves.
Upon its ratification, the states, as principals, gave limited power to the central government to act as their agent in certain matters of common concern: defense, taxation, interstate commerce, etc.
The authority of the agent — in this case the federal government — is derived from the agreement that created the principal/agent relationship. Whether the agent is lawfully acting on behalf of the principal is a question of fact. The agent may legally bind the principal only insofar as its actions lie within the contractual boundaries of its power.
Should the agent exceed the scope of its authority, not only is the principal not held accountable for those acts, but the breaching agent is legally liable to the principal (and any affected third parties who acted in reliance on the agent’s authority) for that breach.
Under the law of agency, the principal may revoke the agent’s authority at will. It would be unreasonable to oblige the principals to honor promises of an agent acting outside the boundaries of its authority as set out in the document that created the agency in the first place.
Imagine the chaos that would be created if principals were legally bound by the acts of an agent that “went rogue” and acted prejudicially to the interests of the principals from whom he derived any power in the first place. It is a fundamental tenet of the law of agency that the agent may lawfully act only for the benefit of the principal.
The bottom line: The federal government has control over states, counties, and municipalities only if those entities accept the money the feds offer as a mess of pottage in exchange for the states’ and counties’ birthright of liberty.