Skip to comments.Toxic Government by Democrats: Baltimore
Posted on 04/11/2013 5:09:44 AM PDT by SJackson
- FrontPage Magazine - http://frontpagemag.com -
Toxic Government by Democrats: Baltimore
Posted By John Perazzo On April 8, 2013 @ 12:46 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 13 Comments
Editors note: The following is the second in a series of articles that will expose the misery of life in Americas poorest cities, all of which have one thing in common: they are controlled exclusively by Democrats. Each article presented by FrontPage will reveal how the production of mass urban poverty is much more than just a failure of leadership, but a means of political survival for the Left. To read the background pamphlet by David Horowitz and John Perazzo, Government Versus The People, click here.
The city of Baltimore, Maryland, which in the 1950s was an employment mecca for a number of thriving industries, has been governed exclusively by Democratic mayors and city councils since 1967. William Donald Schaefer, who served as Baltimore’s mayor from 1971-87, helped set the stage for economic decline in his city by championing an ever-expanding public sector coupled with extensive government regulation of private business enterprises. Moreover, he relied heavily on federal grants and city bonds to finance a host of development projects throughout Baltimore. As the City Journal reports: [W]hen those monies proved insufficient, [Schaefer] … created his own city bank to seed development: the Loan and Guarantee Fund. The fund financed itself by selling city property and then leasing it back to itself, and by selling bonds that would stick future taxpayers with much of the bill.
Rampant with corruption, Schaefer’s administration virtually made an art form of cronyism. Once, for instance, the mayor’s finance director, Charles Benton, successfully steered $5.6 million in public money to a repair project on an apartment building owned by a Schaefer political supporter. On another occasion, Benton directed more than $4 million in taxpayer funds to the refurbishing of a hotel owned by a longtime friend of the mayor. Every penny of that money was wasted, however, as the hotel went bankrupt shortly after Schaefer’s mayoral tenure ended.
In 1986 the Brookings Institution reported that only projects that had been endorsed by [Schaefer] were funded, and only the neighborhoods that were most loyal to City Hall got community grants. In dozens of cases, Schaefer’s administration took federal funds that had been earmarked for poor people and diverted them to other, more politically expedient, uses. As the Baltimore City Paper reveals: Fifteen million dollars from a program to provide rent subsidies to low-income families was used to build housing for the elderly (a reliable voting bloc). Another $15 million earmarked for disadvantaged schoolchildren was spent on other items, including the salaries of [politically influential] school bureaucrats.
In the 1970s, Schaefer’s deputy public works director was incarcerated for rigging bids on city contracts. And in the ’80s, the federal government shut down the city’s Urban Development Action Grants program due to its many abuses.
In 1987 Schaefer was succeeded as mayor by Kurt Schmoke, who continued his predecessor’s policy of extracting as much taxpayer money as possible from Annapolis and Washington, respectively. By 2001, such state and federal subsidies accounted for an incredible 40% of Baltimore’s operating budget.
Thanks to Schmoke’s close ties to Clinton administration officials, the federal gravy train, bearing large cargoes of cash to fund city programs, made frequent stops in Baltimore. One such program (bankrolled by a $100 million federal grant) was the establishment of an Empowerment Zone that failed miserably to achieve its stated goal of spurring job creation. That boondoggle, however, did not hurt Schmoke at all politically. Rather, the influx of (wasted) federal funds helped convince Baltimore voters to re-elect him in 1991, and again in 1995.
Like Schaefer before him, Mayor Schmoke was no stranger to corruption. In the mid-1990s, for instance, federal officials were alerted to the fact that Schmoke’s housing authority had squanderedvia no-bid contracts, massive cost overruns, and blatant cronyismsome $25.6 million in HUD funds that were intended for housing repairs.
Even as the nation flourished economically in the 1990s, Baltimores economy lost at least 58,000 jobs. The city’s unemployment rate was twice that of the rest of Maryland. Part of the problem was the fact that Baltimore’s property taxes were the highest in the state, causing many of the citys leading private-sector firms to relocate in the more business-friendly suburbs.
While Baltimore’s industry and finance were in steep decline, crime was on the risethanks, in large measure, to Schmoke’s ineffective, soft-on-drugs policing strategy. By the end of the 1990s, the murder rate in Baltimore was six times higher than in New York (where a variety of proactive policing practices had reduced violent crime dramatically). Three-fourths of Baltimore’s homicides were drug-relatedsymptoms of an ongoing, brutal drug-turf war that was engulfing many nonwhite neighborhoods. Police, meanwhile, were frustrated by the fact that the drug dealers whom they arrested were routinely released a short time later, free to resume their criminal activities on the streets.
Yet another Democrat, Martin OMalley, won Baltimore’s 1999 mayoral race by campaigning on a law-and-order platform, but ultimately he was unable to fulfill his crime-reduction pledges. In 2005, criminal-justice statistics for Baltimore indicated that 17.6 violent crimes were committed for every 1,000 residentsa figure almost 80% higher than America’s big-city average. Baltimore’s murder rate, meanwhile, was nearly three times higher than the big-city averagejust as it had been when O’Malley first took office in 2000. Robberies and aggravated assaults (including shootings) had dropped slightly since 2000, but were still more than twice as prevalent as in other large American cities.
Baltimore’s economy also lagged under O’Malley. Between 2001 and 2004, the city lost nearly 5% of all its jobs, including a quarter of its manufacturing jobs, 15% of its banking and finance jobs, and 5% of its retail jobs.
In 2007 O’Malley was succeeded as mayor by Sheila Dixon, who resigned three years later when convicted of embezzlement and perjury charges. Replacing Dixon was city council president Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. By the start of 2013, Baltimore’s population stood at 619,000a 35% dropoff from its peak of 950,000 six decades earlier, when it had been an economically and socially healthy city.
Baltimore’s experience has played itself out in many U.S. cities: Democratic tax-and-spend policies, coupled with toothless and ineffective approaches to crime, destroy the quality of life and leave people no choice but to uproot themselves and move away.
Previous articles in the series:
the cities run by Democrats are broke because those running same stole the dough
... Bal’more hon ping
Being unable to procure twin .50s to mount on the truck, the prospect of said trip was not a welcome one.
However, having been such a good boy lately, HP saw fit to cause a change in intinerary, so now it's only to be a quick in/out to Bawmer Jr, aka Harrisburg.
These days, a week of constipation would be preferable to an encounter with any major urban area in the USSA.
Thanks for the reference ping!
I live in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood 10 minutes from BWI.
“While Baltimores industry and finance were in steep decline, crime was on the risethanks, in large measure, to Schmokes ineffective, soft-on-drugs policing strategy. “
Something for you “legalize drugs” crowd (on this site) to think about. We have tried your approach, at least in Baltimore...
I’ve always felt the perfect campaign ad for any opponent of OweMalley would be to stand in front of all the boarded up row houses on Broadway and simply say “This is what Martin O’Malley did for the City of Baltimordor and for the State of Maryland. This is what he’ll do for you if he is elected POTUS.”
Many of us here in PA absolutely despise Filthadelphia for its fraudulent demographic that negates the will of the rest of an otherwise overwhelmingly conservative state.
In the same way, it's clear that the western part of MD, along with oases such as yours, still belong to relatively 'normal' America.
And yet the fraudulent looter/thug contagion oozing out of the cesspool of Baltimore, abetted by Annapolis, threatens your normalcy every bit as much as Filthadelphia and Harrisburg threaten ours in PA.
Written with an eloquence that I can only envy, you might well be interested in today's piece by Daniel Greenfield, dealing with precisely this state of affairs:
I'm trying to decide if you're really really naive and ignorant or just dishonest and think the rest of us are stupid.
Revolving door policies on violent black criminals is not even vaguely equivalent to legalizing drugs. Personally I don't care much one way or the other on drug legalization except I may have a slight bias toward legalization. There are pluses and minuses on both sides. However, I do resent someone coming up with an outright lie and then pretending it supports a particular viewpoint.
Annapolis' most serious problems are on State Circle.
Yes, that’s all that was meant .. Annapolis is to MD as Harrisburg is to PA
Lest we not forget Detroit. Mecca of waste and corruption fueled by Democrat leadership.
Drugs are legal in Baltimore? Where did the article state that?
Get out the car or yer dead, hon!
Balmer Maryland “Freak State” PING!
Baltimordor AKA Baltimurder.
Northern end of the PG/MontCo/Bawlmer Axis of Evil.
The drugs weren’t legalized, but the dealers were allowed to run rampant. With no legal way of doing business, such a laissez-faire criminal policy had what could be called a predictable effect.
If the Baltimore government believes in legalizing drugs, they can’t just look the other way while the murderous criminal drug dealers run about poisoning children with unregulated crap. They necessarily have to crack down, because the big government Federal and Maryland thug nanny states give them no choice.