Representative John Mica (R-Fl.) on Thursday, April 25, 2013, when asked about District budget autonomy compared the District to his children who when they “were young, teenagers, they always wanted budget autonomy, too.” He went on to say that when needed Congress should step in to keep us in check when necessary. Clearly, ignorance and paternalism is alive and well and while the paternalism is offensive it’s his ignorance which is dangerous. Such a short statement had a few inaccuracies that should be addressed:
- The District isn’t young. Established in 1801, the District is now 212 years old and we’ve had Home Rule since 1974. We’re not children and we’re not perfect, we’ve made mistakes and had some bad times, but overall our financial management record especially over the last 14 years makes Congress look like a joke.
- Children his, mine, yours should be encouraged to be economically self-sufficient and dare I say autonomous. It’s actually how you build a sense of value and responsibility for sound financial management. Congress could not only learn from the financial management of the District but that of many smart and intelligent children who know the basics about only spending the money you have or spending that which you can reasonably borrow and payback. Congress does neither.
- The hypocrisy of a member of Congress lecturing the District on financial management is galling. Right now the Federal Debt is at $16 Trillion and the annual Budget Deficit is at $1 Trillion. On the flip side the District continues to have budget surpluses with a $400 million surplus for Fiscal Year 2012. How about them apples, Mr. Big Shot Congressman?
- This ‘conservative’ believes in local control over local affairs only when it suits his needs. In short, his principles are selective and malleable which isn’t much of an admirable trait.
Mr. Mica does have a technical point which is true that Congress ultimately (presently) has constitutional authority to control the District. But just because Congress has that authority doesn’t mean they should use it especially when the District has repeatedly made the financial management of Congress look like a joke. It might be good for the Congressman to rethink his statement toward the District, it was patronizing, inaccurate, and hypocritical. It’s time that he and other realize that ‘kids’ in the District are people too who just want to be treated equally not because we’re special but because we’re the same.
Congressman Mica should reconsider his words, apologize to the District, and then repent by cosponsoring H.R. 292 the New Columbia Admission Act (worth a shot J). HR 292 is the only bill where he and other conservatives can be ideologically pure with respect to their principles of and that of the Constitution, so instead of belittling us, support us, and join with us. The ‘kids’ of the District are alright!