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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Protestors disrupt D.C. Council budget hearing

By Tim Craig and Ann Marimow

The D.C. Council's budget hearing Tuesday morning got off to a raucous start as crowds of advocates filled the chamber. Even before Council Chairman Vincent Gray could finish announcing the date and location of the meeting, he was interrupted by protesters, who shouted and jeered.

"Sir, either sit down or you'll be removed," Gray said sternly.

The protesters told the council that there are many high-income people in the city who are willing to pay more in taxes to preserve social services.

Chris Otten, an advisory neighborhood commissioner from Adams Morgan, and Lacy Mackley, were swiftly removed from the chamber when they kept shouting.

As they were led out of the John A. Wilson Building, Mackley and Otten predicted continued outbursts from the crowd of advocates who were jammed in the council meeting room.

"The council has been discussing a $41million tax break to give it to a national corporation and in the same breath they are talking about cutting social services," said Mackley, who was referring discussions about whether the council should give a tax exemption to a company trying to build a luxury hotel in Adams Morgan. "They are hurting people and children."

As Otten and Mackley spoke, one of the the security guards escorting them down the stairs muttered, "Hmm, that's sad."

By Tim Craig and Ann Marimow  | December 7, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Budget  
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Comments

It must be nice for people like Otten and Mackley to be able to go through their lives with their hands stuck firmly in the pockets of others without shame or remorse.

The Districts yearly expenditures rose by more than 12% PER YEAR, every year between 2005 and 2009. It was a minimum of 5.5% from 1999 to 2005.

The District budget has risen 130% in the past 9 years, its social services budget, which is currently more than 1/3rd the entire city budget rose 150%. I could bake a pie with all the low hanging fruit on the social services tree.

DC is the friendliest welfare state this side of the Mississippi. We are the only jurisdiction in the NATION that doesn't have a welfare time limit. Accordingly, we breed generation after generation of welfare dependancy who are never willing to give up one cent of their "entitlements" when times turn for the worse, choosing instead to act like children and storm Council Meetings acting like 8 year olds.

Otten, Mackley and whatever "high income" people they were referring to are more than able to send in additional tax monies at the end of the year if they wish. There is even a seperate line for it.

Oddly, I doubt they will contribute one extra penny this spring when they do their taxes.

Posted by: Nosh1 | December 7, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Reform, Don't tax. I despise every single elected official in DC. Time to bolt!

Posted by: Trout1 | December 7, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It would be good if you report on what is said about the tax break for the hotel that you give people a little detail on that. Apparently it wouldn't be in effect till 2015 and then in the long run the City will make money on a site on which they make no money now.

Posted by: peterdc | December 7, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The D.C. Treasurer will be happy to accept checks for extra money, if you can afford us. I'd like the Post to follow up with every person who advocated higher taxes and see if he or she actually voluntarily made a payment to the D.C. Treasurer.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 7, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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