D.C. to Pay Residents Not to Commit Crime

It’s not uncommon to hear people claim that Washington is broken, and that sentiment applies to more than just the federal government. The city council in the nation’s capital is one of the most regrettable snakepits of liberalism in America. These hooligans have already attracted the ire of conservatives with their repeated attempts to disregard the Second Amendment, but what they’re planning to do now might be even more ridiculous.

The council voted (unanimously!) on a bill this week that would pay a stipend to certain residents to keep them from breaking the law. The legislation is the brainchild of Councilman Kenyan McDuffie, who argued that the stipend would be part of a broader strategy to reduce violent crime rates in the city. As part of his proposal, the city would select up to 200 residents considered “at risk” for committing crime. These residents would then be given the chance to complete some form of behavioral therapy program. If successful, they get paid.

Eh, it’s not the worst idea in the world, you say. Throw ’em a hundred bucks, maybe it’ll keep them off the streets for a couple of weeks.

Except, they don’t want to give these people walking-around money. The bill doesn’t specify a dollar amount, but participants in Richmond, California’s similar program receive up to – take a deep breath – $9,000 a year.

$9,000 a year. For not committing crime. Good work if you can get it, huh?

The program must still be approved by the Democratic mayor, and the funding for the $4.9 million initiative will have to be raised in some fashion by the Council. In all likelihood, it will mean raising taxes. In further likelihood, the Council will probably try to find some way to make D.C. gun owners pay for this program. Until, of course, they are smacked down yet again by a federal court.

Once again, Democrats think they can simply spend their way out of a jam. It didn’t work the last 5,000 times it was tried, but hey, maybe this will be the exception that proves the rule.

There’s been some talk lately about giving Washington D.C. residents better representation in the U.S. Congress. If this is the way those folks vote, though, maybe that’s an idea we should leave on the backburner for a while.

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