Baltimore was privileged to play host to the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, an event held for Mayors of cities with at least 30,000 people. There are currently 1,210 members of this conference, but at the current rate of population loss in Baltimore City due to urban flight (both black and white) and extremely high murder rates, we should expect Baltimore to be removed from this Conference in a few years.
So at these conferences the Mayors get together and talk about economics, public policy, welfare, and other issues plaguing our large cities. To put it another way, it's the annual conference for the Mayors to collectively put their hats in their hands and reach out to the Federal Government and beg for more money.
This year was a little different. This time they didn't exactly ask for money directly. In order to spin their agenda and make it look more legit, they passed a resolution requesting Obama to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though they made no mention if him ending the current war he's got brewing in Libya. Perhaps that war is okay, because we'll ultimately remove an evil dictator from office. (Can you hear Obama saying, "Put that on my resume'!?) With the wars ending, this would allow the Federal Government to spend the billions of dollars that are currently funding the war to be redistributed to the cities so they can fight crime, urban blight, and the "I don't give a shit" attitude with dollar bills. Nothings solves a problem better than throwing dollar bills at it.
I find this attitude a little disturbing. While we are sitting here staring at a government that is $14 trillion in debt and suffering with economically debilitating unemployment, the politicians are more interested in the continued spending, but redirecting those dollars to them. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, mention of a reduction in spending. From the conference of Mayors, we seem to be hearing a chorus singing, "Screw the younger generation and kick the can farther down the road! Put some money on my plate, because I'm a big-fat toad!"
However, there is some good news. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was elected as the Trustee of the group. This will help because.........I have no idea. I guess it's just good PR for the city. And it gives O'Malley a puppet to help direct his policies and long-term visions that will ultimately help him become Master of the Universe. Or Secretary of State. Wouldn't he be a handsome Secretary of State? What's worse? O'Malley as Governor or O'Malley as Secretary of State? Personally, I prefer: O'Malley, lead singer of O'Malley's March. Come on Marty, focus on your music career! You'll be doing us a huge favor!
So anyway, back to those mayors. They had to stay somewhere while visiting our lovely crime-ridden city. Those dollars were spent in hotels, and bars, and bars, and bars, which the city can tax and use to build their casino. So all in all, I think it's all good. Bottoms-up!