- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You can distract all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot distract all the people all of the time.

If David Grosso doesn’t get it, public school children won’t either.

We are in the midst of the age of distraction, when Americans of all stripes have seemingly fallen into one of three camps: 1) Resist by any means necessary; 2) Spend more money; 3) Blame Donald Trump.

Some politicians, even those not registered as a Republican or Democrat, fall into all three.

Take Mr. Grosso, an at-large independent member of the D.C. Council, who emailed an all-points bulletin from Camps 1, 2 and 3 on Monday.

Titled “Confronting the Challenges D.C. Faces in the Age of Trump,” Mr. Grosso sent a special invitation: “Faced with slimmer federal budgets and increased federal interference, how do we provide quality education, foster welcoming and safe communities, deliver vital health and social services, protect human rights, and promote the arts and humanities?”

Mr. Grosso is raising the critical question, of course — and creating another distraction.

The president has his own opinions about public schooling, as does Mr. Grosso.

Mr. Grosso, however, has given and continues to give the public the opinion that D.C. parents and students would be on the losing end of Trump education policies, and the administration’s policies on public safety, as well as other locally funded programs.

The federal government allocates federal funding for D.C. programs. What’s likely to change during the Trump administration is that some programs might flatline, but that does not necessarily mean city leaders must scrap those program.

For example, Grosso politics follows a socialist track. You know, force the candy store owner to give away the munchies in the junkie part of the store.

And earlier this spring, when it came time to back the mayor’s choice for police chief, Mr. Grosso was the only council member who shook his head — rejecting out of hand Peter Newsham’s years of experience as a law enforcer.

The Trump era is not a distraction. It is an opportunity, though, for local elected leaders to ask what works and what doesn’t, and move the local funding needles depending on the answers.

That fewer federal dollars might flow this way has always been and always will be a possibility, regardless of who is in the Oval Office.

What’s truly new for Mr. Grosso is that he became a lawmaker under Barack Obama, when all the council had to do was hold out its hands.

Consider, education. The words “slimmer federal budgets and increased federal interference” weren’t publicly lobbed at the Obama administration and Congress, which for eight years created and funded so many pots of education money that, if someone proposed withholding a $5 bill, primal screams would be heard from coast to coast.

Mr. Grosso wants to know how to get more federal money from the Trump administration.

Thank goodness the Trump Cabinet is proposing to mind public schooling money, which would prove politicians can distract all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but they cannot distract all the people all the time.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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