DC voting rights may be unconstitutional, but that won’t stop the House of Representatives from imposing programs in the District. This Thursday the House passed a bill that uses federal funds to accomplish controversial objectives while pretending they are not controversial at all. Thursday’s spending bill both allows the DC government to subsidize abortions and takes steps towards legalizing marijuana.
Besides providing federal funding for abortions, the bill also undermines free market and contract principles. The measure forces General Motors and Chrysler to restore franchise agreements with 3,000 dealerships closed under restructuring plans approved by bankruptcy courts. Both companies oppose the idea, saying it will hinder their efforts to return to profitability.
Is no issue more urgent for DC in the midst of its budget crisis? Rather than replace dangerous metro cars, Congress has decided that DC residents need fewer welfare babies and more weed.
Aborting contract principles represents an even more controversial step. Filing for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy gives failing businesses an opportunity to restructure their business models with legal and corporate guidance. GM and Chrysler took—and continue to take—federal funds on the condition that they change their unsuccessful structure so bailout funds won’t go to waste. A bill that undermines companies’ promises to close unsuccessful franchises violates both the federal bankruptcy structure and constructive contracts GM and Chrysler made with American taxpayers.
Federal interference with local governance does not promote the change we want to see. Abortion, marijuana, and bankruptcy conditions warrant substantial debate. Rather than solve DC’s looming budget concerns, Congress has decided to intervene in controversial areas while pretending to have full public support.
DC residents bitterly accept taxation without representation. The rest of America has not. It stands to the represented public to demand economic recovery rather than sweeping controversial measures without discussion. Abortions and coercive contracts will not solve our problems. Only by permitting individuals and the market to learn from the fruits and consequences of our actions can this country “restructure” in a way that will be successful in the long run.