Tuesday, May 23, 2006

DC Mayoral Race: Promises and Price Tags But No Way Pay For It

The five Democrats running for Mayor in DC are unified in their quest to spend more and more of District taxpayer dollars on a slew of new initiatives. There is just one catch, none of them have a clue how the will pay for it. That's the word coming from a candidate forum at the Asbury United Methodist Church in downtown DC.

According to the Post:

The leading candidates for D.C. mayor pledged last night to make social justice for children and the poor their top priority in office, vowing to spend about $1 billion on neighborhood redevelopment, youth services and 14,000 units of affordable housing.

The five Democrats didn't bat an eye before committing themselves to funding the expensive demands of the Washington Interfaith Network, a coalition of churches, unions and community groups that held a forum last night.

Ah, how refreshing. Politicians in the District who can't say no to any demand to spend more money. It's worked so well for the District for so many years, right???

I love this visual:

Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions: Would they dedicate an additional $500 million to neighborhoods, $350 million to youth services and at least $117 million a year for affordable housing? Their answers -- an unbroken string of yeses -- were recorded in foot-high letters on a big, white board.

Of course when asked how they were going to pay for any of this, the candidates were largely at a loss:

"I commit to you that I'm going to raise the bar," Fenty said, explaining that the city's housing production trust fund and its new school modernization fund are both being bankrolled with existing tax revenue. "We'll take that $7.4 billion budget we have and make sure the money goes to the priorities that you and the rest of my constituents want it to go to."

The other candidates were only marginally more specific about where they would find the money.

If you want to know how far off the deep end the District's Democratic Party has gone, one need only read this gem:

Lobbyist Michael A. Brown offered no specific proposals to raise money. He did, however, criticize city leaders for encouraging the wealthy to move to the nation's capital, saying that a thriving middle class is more critical to keeping the District fiscally strong.

Is this really the best the District has to offer? How about a candidate that doesn't just pledge not to raise taxes, but actually pledges to CUT taxes? How about a candidate that doesn't pledge to increase spending, but actually pledges to CUT spending? How about a candidate that restores a little sanity to this place?


Blogger PalacePool said...

Amen. It seems that our friends running for mayor have taken a page out of the congressional book, cut taxes (reduce revenue) and increase spending. Then take the remaining funds and simultaneously allocate them to seven different programs, so in the end nothing gets accomplished, the city is back in the red, and Rep Tom Davis is back in charge of running the city.

Here is an idea, lets start by not making DC residents pay federal income tax. Then a portion of the revenue that would have been collected can go to programs to improve DC. Fighting crime, sustainable development, social services, and for god sakes improving the school system.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Siryn said...

The school system, however, is just a huge sinkhole. It's corrupt and inefficient and throwing more money at it isn't necessarily going to fix the problems.

8:48 AM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

The Ninja blog officially endorsed the Fenty Campaign recently because he was the only candidate to pledge NOT to raise taxes. If someone pledges to cut taxes, we (meaning I and my blog) will endorse him or her (ninjas are sneaky like that).

1:01 PM  
Blogger LibertyDC said...

Siryn, you are spot on about the DC school system... I will have much more on that in the coming weeks...

Ninja, I appreciate Fenty's pledge not to raise taxes (tho I am at a total loss for how he plans to raise the boat loads of money to pay for his new spending initiatives), however this blog won't endorse anyone who doesn't pledge to actually cut taxes (not just hold the line). Then again, I am sure none of the candidates are holding their breath waiting for this blog's endorsement :)

6:35 AM  

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