- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 22, 2012


Two East Coast mayors were in sync Sunday when “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory prefaced his interview by asking, “Has [President Obama] done enough for his urban base?”

They both answered “yes,” of course, but D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter played the blame game, too, pointing their liberal, Democratic fingers directly at Congress instead of at themselves.

Mr. Gray, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said Washington needs to “listen to cities more and do more for our cities.” He also said the federal government ought to do more to put Americans back to work.

For his part, Mr. Nutter cited federal funding for economic development, transportation and education as crucial to the survival of urban areas.

But both mayors also mistakenly blamed Congress and, shockingly, questioned whether Congress even knows about the tough times urban dwellers are facing.

Where on Earth do they think the 535 members of Congress live? On Neptune? They live in U.S. cities and spend much of their time in the District, where elected officials, including Mr. Gray, hoot and holler for the right to spend tax money on abortions but shortsightedly upend budgets trying to put residents back to work.

The District had an estimated 30 organizations receiving money from about a dozen city agencies involved in workforce develop in 2010, yet the jobless rate remains sky high.

Mr. Gray and, quite frankly, Mr. Nutter should be shame-faced for not claiming responsibility for their poor choices.

They also need to face the truth. Chief executives — the mayor and the president alike — are responsible for implementing laws and policy; And if the money isn’t there, they shouldn’t spend it.

Baby needs a bottle: On Tuesday, the D.C. Council is scheduled to convene a hearing on “Fiscal Year 2012 Revised Budget Request Emergency Adjustment Act of 2012,” the mayor’s $44.7 million supplemental budget.

The spending, which is targeted chiefly for education and health care, is available because of a “projected revenue increase,” the mayor said in December.

Taxpayers, however, should ask the mayor to clear his throat, because there is no such thing as extra cash.

Ask the folks who run charter schools — and the parents who send their children there — who are not receiving one new shiny red cent from the mayor’s request.

On the road again: Here’s yet another reason why the mayor deserves an “ahem” instead of “amen” for his latest spending request.

A trip to New England to push for D.C. statehood has been rescheduled for Jan. 27, and the map has a stickpin in Florida, too.

Who, precisely, is picking up the tab for elected officials to take their show on the road?

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.



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