So asks today's Washington Post editorial. After listing the now well known litany of problems with DCPS's deplorable facilities the editorial board questions the District's powers that be for spending $400 million on a new 250 bed hospital with Howard University. A hospital, the editorial notes, "that cannot be justified either by cost or purpose." They, instead, call upon a two prong attack: kill the hospital and support DC Councilwoman Patterson's bill to pay for the more than $1 billion needed for capital improvements with tax increases and the rollback of tax cuts.
To shove my two cents in here: if the hospital is $400 million that could be better spent elsewhere one wonders why the Post isn't also taking aim at the proposed baseball stadium. I'm fairly indifferent to the stadium proposal, but if the cost of the proposed Howard University hospital is too much to bare so, it would seem, should be the stadium. As for paying for the improvements, they have to be made, and that's going to cost money. Yet, while there's lots of talk about raising the money needed there's precious little talk about making sure the money is spent wisely. Remember, it wasn't so many years ago that the Army Corps of Engineers had a billion dollar budget to fix DCPS facilities, and we know how well that money was spent. So, before we vote DCPS another huge chuck of tax revenue lets be damn sure that DCPS, the District Gov't and the DC Council have the proper checks and balances in place. DC has a long track record of fraud, waste and abuse. Fixing that should be priority number one.