REP. CHARLES WILSON of Texas is still having a field day at the expense of District of Columbia citizens. This time, it's to the tune of about $125.5 million - which is how much Mr. Wilson convinced colleagues in the House Appropriations Committee to clip from the federal payment requested by the D.C. government and President Carter for the coming fiscal year. As Grand House Overseer of D.C. Pursestrings, Mr. Wilson again has had some fun with his latest reminder of who's in charge around here. In lieu of money, he dishes out wisecracks that underscore a pennypinching zeal for the benefit of folks back home - while pointing up a crude disregard for the concerns of the people who live here.
At one point, for example, Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), who's been waging a lonely defense of the city's budget proposals, tried to explain the reason behind the annual federal payment. He noted that the city should be compensated for bearing costs associated with being the nation's capital. Mr. Wilson replied that the District already has - get this - "gifts" of federal maintained parks, as well as the Kennedy Center and the National Zoo: "The city of Lufkin (Mr. Wilson's home) would like to have the zoo," he quipped. "The District of Columbia doesn't even have to feed its own kangaroo."
No, but it certainly has to swallow a lot of insults whenever some showboating congressman decides to take a poke at a budget that just happens not to affect any of his constituents. In this instance, the effect of the cuts by Mr. Wilson and Co. would be to abolish 3,100 and force layoffs of up to 1,600 people or cut every employee's scheduled 5.5 percent pay increase in half.
Little wonder, then, that Mayor Barry says he is "extremely disappointed with Congressman Wilson's jaundiced view of the intergrity of the District, its citizens and its leadership." Not since the bad old days of the Southern segregationist-controlled House District Committee has the lack of local self-government been so depressingly apparent. District taxpayers, as well as the mayor and the elected council members, can do little except to the Senate for understanding.