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c $21.4 million to D.C. Public Schools to bridge a gap of $4.5 million in lost federal funds, $10.7 million to pay for feeding programs, and $2.8 million for pay raises and $3.4 million for noninstructional personal services.

In other words, the Gray administration fails to see the forest for the trees.

Mr. Gandhi’s outlook for the immediate future views the District’s fiscal situation not with rose-tinted glasses but from a green-eyeshade perspective.

For example, he predicts a loss of lottery revenue, down from $69.4 million this fiscal year to $64.7 million in the next.

He also sees that growth in the hospitality industry is flat, condo sales are down, single-family home sales are down and that property- and sales-tax collections are down.

In addition, the District’s Big Brother and Big Sister, i.e. the federal government, will be spending less on jobs, real estate and procurement.

Each situation means that Mr. Gray’s spending proposal for the $42.2 million projected surplus not only fails to see things as they are - a projection - but neglects to address what underscores the primary reason the District is in a slump.

Truth is, the cost of his liberal policies undermines every aspect of the fiscal stability that he promised stakeholders after he won the Democratic primary in September 2010, when he garnered a victory in the November 2010 general election, and that he made at his Jan. 2 swearing-in and reiterated in his first State of the District address.

Indeed, while his spending plan at this juncture is just that, a plan, it nonetheless should open wide the eyes of the D.C. Council, where lawmakers will soon try to reconcile what’s truly at stake here.

Will the legislative branch turn off the spigot and try to restore Williams-era fiscal responsibility?

Or will it bow to the fiscally irresponsible days when Mayors Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt Kelly and Mr. Fenty turned the city’s piggy banks upside down and shook out every red cent?

Saving $20 million or so for a rainy day would be sound fiscal policy if lawmakers consider the fact that while Mr. Gandhi can hardly forecast the weather as accurately as, say, Al Roker or Topper Shutt, he nonetheless sees rainy days in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at