- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2013


D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is promoting cockiness instead of confidence as Americans become nervous Nellies over whether the White House and Congress will avert a government shutdown.

Like the president and members of Congress, the mayor and members of the D.C. Council are engaging in child’s play, a game of kick the can.

It’s as if they’re determined to push Americans closer to the edge, when many are already close to losing their heads, their homes and their livelihoods.

Most federal employees will continue working if a spending plan is not reached by midnight Monday, although national parks, museums and some defense-related services could be shuttered.

You likely won’t be able to get a gun permit if a shutdown happens or, for that matter, a passport, visa or security clearance.

And the mail? Well, you know the adage.

As for shuttering parks and libraries and postponing road pavings and garbage collections, that’s where local and state governments come in.

Some motor vehicle services may be interrupted, but rest assured that other public safety service providers will be on their j-o-b.

For sure, although this would not be our first government shutdown, some power brokers have more to learn than others.

Take Mr. Gray, who, while elected only by registered D.C. voters, could be considered the nation’s mayor.

As mayor of “our” capital, instead of making hard, confident choices as a shutdown looms, he, too, is choosing to kick the can.

The mayor wants to declare not only that all 30,000 or so people employed by the city are essential to keeping the D.C. government open during a shutdown, but also that city hall should use the $144 million contingency fund to keep it open.

Bridges and roads would remain open despite a shutdown. Public transit would keep rolling, and first responders, like those who tended to the recent Navy Yard bloodletting, would remain in place. Hospitals and schools would not be shuttered, either.

So what gives with city hall’s cockiness?

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