Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) used a familiar trope among politicians this week: He slammed D.C. at the expense of the nearly 700,000 people who live here.
Blum tweeted a picture from his personal account of cranes towering over the $2 billion redevelopment of D.C.’s Southwest waterfront, saying the city is “being built on the backs of U.S. taxpayers” and “needs a recession.” His congressional account later retweeted the message.
Politicians like Blum presumably bash D.C. to show how out of touch Washington is from the rest of America and how, well, so very in touch they are. On the campaign trail last year, Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush (who is no longer in the race) tried to paint himself as an outsider by touting his disdain for Washington and wrongly stating how wealthy the residents of D.C. are.
Technically, local D.C. funds are considered federal appropriated dollars. That’s because D.C. is not a state and residents’ local tax dollars and the local budget go through the federal appropriations process. But D.C. residents — many of whom do hold government jobs — pay local taxes, which are then invested in their local communities. D.C. residents, who do not have voting representation in Congress, also pay federal taxes.
D.C. was mostly spared the brunt of the last recession, and the city is teeming with new condos, restaurants and investments. But D.C. poverty rates are still above the national average, and as many people pointed out to Blum on Twitter, wishing a recession on D.C. would be wishing Americans out of jobs.
Blum’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Here are some responses on Twitter: