By mbolton | March 23, 2016
Last night, Mayor Muriel Bowser gave her State of the District Address – touting the financial stability of the District of Columbia and promising increased investment in affordable housing, public education and transit.
Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) saw it as the perfect time to send out the following tweet:
Washington DC is booming. Tower cranes everywhere. Being built on the backs of US taxpayers. DC needs a recession. pic.twitter.com/BcE8kRPfUq— Rod Blum (@RodBlum) March 21, 2016
The tweet is wildly inaccurate, but even worse his failure to consider the facts isn’t even original. Jeb Bush promoted a DC recession during his failed Presidential campaign, when he said,“Let’s create a little bit of a recession in Washington, D.C., so that we can have economic prosperity outside of Washington.”
How off was Blum in tying DC’s economic success with federal taxpayer largesse? Federal funds account for 38% of the District of Columbia's budget - less than 12 other states. Blum’s own state of Iowa has a budget comprised of 33% federal funds. So what might make a lawmaker declare economic war on over 672,000 American citizens he doesn’t represent and who lack any representation in Congress?
Maybe it has something to do with what is happening in Iowa. The unemployment rate for Blum's district is currently 6.1% , almost double Iowa's statewide unemployment rate of 3.5%. You have to believe economic growth would be a big issue for him, and that he did not run on the platform of fewer jobs.
So now, as Blum faces re-election, he is faced with a choice: either own up to the fact that he is failing his constituents or blame his district's economic issues on a random straw man. Unsurprisingly, he went with the latter.
I'm sorry to break it to you Rep. Blum, but DC residents are NOT your straw man. We are American citizens who pay the highest per-capita federal income taxes despite being treated like second-class citizens by the likes of you. And, we succeed economically not as a result of some over-sized federal honey pot, but by passing local laws and using our own tax dollars to build a community where businesses and families want to be.