Josh Barro Declares War on Iowa

After making a legitimate criticism of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s defense of wind power tax credits, Josh Barro of Bloomberg View suggests that we strip Iowa of its statehood and restore its territorial status.

Though I want Iowa to remain a state, I have a closely related suggestion: the New York city borough of Queens, Barro’s home, has been a reliable source of resistance to various proposals to impose a coherent system of tolls for the East River crossings from Brooklyn and Queens to Manhattan, in part because Queens has a relatively large number of automobile owners who are keen on retaining the option of driving into the central business district toll-free. To those of us who favor a congestion charge, this has been immensely frustrating. And so I propose that we abolish the borough of Queens and disenfranchise its voters in all matters pertaining to municipal and state government. There will be compensation for this seemingly draconian measure: this lawless borderland will become home to casinos, UFC arenas, and other unsavory entertainments, thus generating revenue for the various local mafias that will emerge to fill the power vacuum.

Over time, it is safe to assume that Brooklyn and Nassau County will seize large swathes of territory on their respective borders, in which puppet governments will be installed and settlements established (“New Brooklyn” and “West Nassau”). Eventually, the pitched block-to-block street battles will subside and something like civil peace will be reestablished. When that does happen, however, the bedraggled survivors of the ravaged lands formerly known as Queens will understand the importance of road pricing. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More