CDBG grants and the Tenth Amendment

Why are the taxpayers of the other 49 states subsidizing local government and private charities in Bloomington, Indiana? If local government is going to be distributing money, shouldn’t it be from the local tax base?

Last night, the Bloomington City Council voted to distribute a pot of money from the federal government to various social service agencies as well as its own Housing and Neighborhood Development department within city government. But before we can decide whether any of these allocations were a good idea, a more foundational question should be asked: Why have this program at all?

Do we really need to be sending billions of dollars to local and state governments when we are running incredibly high budget deficits? The Obama Administration’s historical tables report the budget deficits for 2012, 2013 and 2014 (the last two years being estimated) were as follows:

  • $1,086,963,000,000

  • $972,902,000,000

  • $744,189,000,000

We simply do not have the money to spend on anything other than essential programs. More importantly, there is no specific authorization for programs like this in the Constitution, so if we are serious about the rule of law (which we are not) a program like this would not be permitted under the Tenth Amendment.

This is one program that needs to be abolished. If local governments around the nation want to continue disbursing money like this, let them do it from their own local tax base.

The CDBG funds were distributed as follows:

Social Service Funding

  • Community Kitchen — $25,000

  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank — $25,000

  • Monroe County United Ministries – Child Care — $24,500

  • Middle Way House – Emergency Services — $25,000

  • Stepping Stones — $25,000

Physical Improvement Funding

  • Bloomington Housing Authority Crestmont Interior Renovations — $50,000

  • HAND Home Modification for Accessible Living — $20,000

  • MCUM Energy efficiency & roof replacement — $64,708

  • LifeDesigns Replacement of window units — $59,000

  • Amethyst House Renovation of 416 W. 4th — $20,000

  • Public Works Rockport Road Reconstruction — $392,991

  • HAND Stormwater Improvements — $50,000

Administration of Housing and Neighborhood Development Department — $173,448

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