LOS ANGELES: President Donald Trump created a firestorm when he criticized longtime Baltimore area Congressman Elijah Cummings, D-MD. Here are some of the president’s actual tweets over the last weekend.
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous.”
Trump pointed out that Cummings’ Baltimore district isn’t just poorer or more violent than the average district. It’s in a second-to-Venezuala category of dangerous.
Cummings has represented Maryland’s 7th District since 1996. In a city ranked as the seventh most dangerous in America, Cummings’ district is the poorest in Maryland. Of Maryland’s eight congressional districts, MD-7 is eighth in household income and first in poverty. True Activist notes,
“Baltimore is beautiful, it has scenic views, and it also has an incredibly high crime rate. Shockingly, there were 8,879 robberies reported back in 2017 alone, and that doesn’t include the other kinds of violence that the city deals with every day. While robbery tops the list of felonies, homicide comes second with 342 occurrences back in 2017 as well, meaning almost 1 person was killed every single day of the year.”
As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.
He asked in another tweet,
Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is the worst run and most dangerous city anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!
So sad that Elijah Cummings has been able to do so little for the people of Baltimore. Statistically, Baltimore ranks last in almost every major category. Cummings has done nothing but milk Baltimore dry, but the public is getting wise to the bad job that he is doing!
Bringing Nancy Pelosi into the discussion, Trump wrote,
Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the city of Baltimore. Just take a look, the facts speak far louder than words! The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. Now, the lowest unemployment in U.S. history, and only getting better. Elijah Cummings has failed badly!
Trump blames Baltimore’s ills on Cummings.
Trump’s basic argument is that Baltimore is poor because it has been represented by Cummings, first in the Maryland House of Delegates and then in the U.S. House of Representatives.
How bad is Baltimore? Some people love the city (there is much to love), and there are certainly worse places to live, especially if you have money. But much of the story is reflected in headlines: The “Worst City in America“; America’s “Most Dangerous City“; and the “Tragedy of Baltimore” are just a few of the stories that reflect a city in trouble.
It would be a stretch to say that Baltimore’s high crime and poverty rates are Cummings’ fault. He’s not the city’s mayor. His constituents might want him to bring home the federal bacon, but no amount of bacon can fix the ills of a badly run city. It would be no stretch at all, however, to observe that part of Cummings’ job is to help bring investment and business to Baltimore.
In fact, Baltimore struggled long before Cummings represented the area.
One can make the argument that Cummings did nothing to make the district better off, but one can argue that this district would be poor no matter who was in that office. That’s because poor people will generally choose a candidate who supports policies that foster poverty.
The representatives of the most impoverished congressional districts share some similar policy preferences:
- Strong support for social spending programs that undermine industriousness
- General hostility to the interests of business
- Support of laws that make it more difficult for people (particularly the poor) to get jobs.For example, raising the minimum wage to levels higher than the job is worth eliminates jobs for people who need them. People are paid for what they add to the bottom line.
The list goes on. Representatives from poor districts typically support policies that keep people poor.
During a panel debate on poverty, one side advocated market solutions to poverty. The other focused on government approaches. On the latter side was Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, whose record is similar to Cummings’. She represents one of the poorest areas in Houston.
During the debate, I pointed out to Lee,
“Congresswoman, you are in the poverty business. If your district became affluent, you would be kicked out of office in the next election cycle. Your future depends on your district’s poverty.”
The same can be said of Cummings. His district and his policies are forever linked. He supports policies that foster poverty both because it reflects the values of his constituents and his political fortunes depend entirely on that poverty.
It is not easy to say Baltimore is poor because it is represented by Cummings, but it is a pretty safe bet that Cummings represents Baltimore because it is poor.