As Jonathan reported on the front page earlier today, DC Mayor Vincent Gray was arrested yesterday while protesting President Obama and congressional Democrats' budget deal with Republicans. Gray's stunt will undoubtedly be applauded by his liberal base of supporters who dominate the city politically, but what message is he sending?
As protesters chanted "We can't take it no more!" (sic), they ignored the fact that DC's Opportunity Scholarship Program has been a resounding success and thousands of low-income students have benefited by escaping failing public schools. But Gray would rather spend taxpayer dollars on funding abortions for low-income women -- the vast majority of whom are African Americans -- and supplying drug users with clean needles to enable their self-destructive behavior.
During the protest Gray said, “This is an absolute travesty. D.C. deserves to be free. All we want to do is spend our own money.” Gray and his DC Vote supporters demand the federal government not "tread on DC," but ignore the fact that the capital city relies on the nation's taxpayers. Heritage notes:
In the 19th Century, Congress funded the development of the city. In the 20th Century, it developed the National Mall and beautified the city. Today it funds more than 20% of the city’s operating budget and provides substantial funding for local amenities, including the subway. What’s more, in 2005, the city received $5.50 in federal spending for every dollar paid in federal taxes; more than double what any actual state receives. And remember the stimulus? Norton brags that the District received billions in federal funds, more than many states.