Does Mayor Marion Barry’s refusal to make budget cuts signal a.) an attempt to bolster his political base, b.) a flawed home rule charter, or c.) his pattern of scapegoating at all costs? Answers: yes, not really, absolutely. If you have any doubts, District Subcommittee Chair Jim Walsh (R-N.Y.) points out that Syracuse has as much untaxable land as D.C., but the feds didn’t subsidize that city’s subway system, or maintain parks, roads, etc. Need more convincing? Dream City authors Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood report that during Barry’s first term, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), then the subcommittee’s chair, offered to give up Congress’ line-item veto over the D.C. budget and make the city a showcase of liberal education, jobs, small business development, and housing programs. All Leahy asked in return was that Barry take more responsibility for city finances and stop blaming Congress. Barry turned the deal down.