Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Disenfranchised DC-folks Forced to Pay for Inaugural Security

So, catch this:

The people of Washington, DC, who overwhelmingly voted for Kerry, and who--because they are not a state--lack voting representation in Congress, are being forced to give up their security dollars for the Bush inauguration. Traditionally, the feds have paid for inaugural security, but the Bush Admin is giving DC the big middle finger. DC should give it right back and refuse to provide security.

Read more here:

(An excerpt)

Now this is some bullshit. Asking a bunch of black folks who didn't even vote for him to foot the bill.... The city should refuse to offer security.

U.S. Tells D.C. to Pay Inaugural Expenses

By Spencer S. Hsu

D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

Federal officials have told the District that it should cover the expenses by using some of the $240 million in federal homeland security grants it has received in the past three years -- money awarded to the city because it is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

But that grant money is earmarked for other security needs, Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said in a Dec. 27 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Williams's office released the letter yesterday.

Williams estimated that the city's costs for the inauguration will total $17.3 million, most of it related to security. City officials said they can use an unspent $5.4 million from an annual federal fund that reimburses the District for costs incurred because of its status as the capital. But that leaves $11.9 million not covered, they said.

"We want to make this the best possible event, but not at the expense of D.C. taxpayers and other homeland security priorities," said Gregory M. McCarthy, the mayor's deputy chief of staff. "This is the first time there hasn't been a direct appropriation for the inauguration."


At 3:47 PM, Blogger Jay Germ said...

Call me crazy, but I think it’s appropriate that DC pay part of the cost for the inauguration. I’m positive that they will make much more than 11.9 million dollars as a result of profits from hotels, restaurants etc. Why should they be able to make a profit without giving a little in return? Also, DC is not just an independent city, it was designated long ago as the capitol of the country and it should be expected to have to hold and pay for large federal events such as the Presidential Inauguration.

I voted for John Kerry and I think that you’re trying to create a partisan conflict where it doesn’t exist. But none the less, it does seem slightly frivolous to hold such a large celebration when there is so much need in places like the Sudan, Iraq and Southeast Asia.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger The Green Man said...

I don't think it's so much a matter of how the people in D. C. voted. I think it's that the Seat of Government was specifically set aside, in the Constitution, to handle things like housing the offices of the Federal Government and hosting major state occasions. That stuff was all supposed to be funded from the general revenue and covered by Congress.

Don't mistake Washington, D.C. for a normal city. It's not like some bunch of businessmen got together and put in a bid to host this inauguration because it would bring so much revenue into their hotels and restaurants. The city was specifically built for this purpose, and the management of the city was specifically assigned to the Congress so they could control the construction and security and so forth for just such occasions as this. The local revenue is supposed to take care of things like schools for the children who are raised in the city, and sanitation, and normal kinds of city activities. I don't think anyone ever intended for the local taxes to pay for the mandatory National events.

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