Today’s Headlines

  • Suburban Reps Want to Trade Transit-Funding Payroll Tax for One-Time Stim Allocation (MTR)
  • San Francisco Crisis May Bring 10 Percent Cut in Muni Service — for Starters (Streetsblog SF)
  • Meanwhile, It’s Full Steam Ahead for Headline-Grabbing High Speed Rail (WSJ)
  • Insert Cartoon Joke Here: Albany Line Loses Out to Disney Express; CT Nets $40M (WNYC, MTR)
  • Bloomberg Budget Includes Truck Parking Hike, Job Cuts for NYPD, DOH (NYT, Post, City Room)
  • Officer’s Fear for Job, Life Leaves Doctors Free to Park With Impunity (Ink Lake)
  • Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park Projects Stalled by City-State Stalemate (Post)
  • Staten Islanders, Sen. Diane Savino Balk at Express Route Cuts (NY1)
  • Widow of 5 Train Victim Wants to Know What Happened (City Room)
  • Dear Sec. LaHood: Wouldn’t a National Traffic Hotline Lead to More Distracted Driving? (Directions)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Note the two-step process. First “transit advocates” propose selling out the MTA’s future to reduce transit cuts in the present. They say it’s no problem.

    Then someone else comes along with another priority for the proceeds of selling out the MTA’s future.’

    This is how our future came to be sold not once, but multiple times. And no transit advocate who supported shifting capital funding to short needs can really object to the practice now, can they?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Just as a “General Theory” Larry, in the long run we are all dead.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The difference is, I expect life expectancy to start going down in this country at some point in the next 15 years.

    Previously, everything that benefits us today was created by those who were working toward the long run.

  • Ian Turner

    Niccolo, how about our children? Are they dead as well?

  • Larry Littlefield

    I don’t know if the Price actually supports the perspective he describes. But that does seem to be the attitude that informed decisions over the past 25 years, hasn’t it?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    It is not a question of attitide, rather a question of socio-physics and MTA political economy. Yes, said but true your children will, God forbid die. And in the intervening years they will oppose fare increases, tax in creases and interest ra(e increases. On the other side of the coin that is Larry’s argument.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Actually Larry, its a quote from Keynes, that was the reference to “General Theory” (From “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”). But it is really much older than that by a millennium or three. I generally agree with huge pieces of you analysis and I’m sure you were preaching this gospel back when the economy was booming. That was the time to save for the future by paying off debts, funding pensions, raising fares, saving for the kids college education. I’m sure you remember the era with Wall Street humming when Pataki borrowed for the capital plan (to be paid out of future operating plans), cut state tax support, converted bonding to a fare-box basis, passed the transportation bond act, improved pensions for workers and then smiled at the camera while he cut the ribbons. Expanding the system was “planned for” in every way except the financing. Today, keeping the same service running is priority number one and clawing back some of the operating funds that have been feeding the capital budgets is only good sense.
    So back to your central point formed as a leading rhetorical question at the end of your original post “And no transit advocate who supported shifting capital funding to short needs can really object to the practice now, can they?” I would think not. But the opposite can be formulated allowing those who called bullshit in the previous era can now with a clear conscience ask that some capital now should be flexed to operating.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Given the an inch, and they’ll have several miles more than they have already taken. I would rather not provide them with any excuse. This is what you get — no more money for transit, just transit money diverted elsewhere.

    The search for victims is on, and it will last several years. The Mayor’s proposed budget reminds me of the Dinkins budget of FY 1993. Wall Street had a temporary upturn as a result of Fed policy to keep interest rates low, allowing the to make money by underpaying savers and overcharging borrowers and borrowing bonds. Dinkins had his election year budget one year early, and the worst of his cuts occurred the next year. The city was virtually broke from 1994-95.

    Even the Mayor’s worst case due to state budget cuts, unlikely to be allowed to happen until after November 2010, is hardly that.