Today’s Headlines

  • ‘Draconian’ MTA Budget Forecast: Deeper Service Cuts, Steeper Fare Hikes (NYT, News, Post, NY1)
  • News: Silver, Skelos Have Done Nothing to Help MTA
  • MTR Surveys the MTA Financing Landscape
  • At White House, Obama Asks Bush to Bail Out Car Makers (NYT)
  • Obama Admin to Include Office of Urban Policy (WaPo via Grist)
  • More on City Planning’s Bike Parking Announcement (AP, NY1)
  • Downtown Brooklyn’s Albee Square Slated for Public Space Makeover (Bklyn Paper)
  • Driving to Lunch Creates Third Rush Hour in Tyson’s Corner, VA (WaPo)
  • New NJDOT Commissioner Inherits One of the Most Progressive State Transpo Agencies (MTR)
  • High Line Construction Pics (Chelsea Now)
  • Larry Littlefield

    “Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester County who is the chairman of a commission that oversees the authority, said he was worried that the authority’s long-term spending needs would be forgotten in a discussion of its more immediate fiscal woes.”

    “’You look back at the generation of leaders in the ’60s and ’70s and say, ‘How could they let the subway system deteriorate as much as it did?’ Mr. Brodsky said.”

    Because they were selfish, shortsighted scumbags like you, beholden to selfish interests cashing in and moving out like you are.

    “We are going to be faced with precisely the choices that they faced.” He added, “The real question here is do we repeat those mistakes?”

    The real question is when do you admit you already have, its too late, and celebrate your profiting for the destruction of our future? Does your continuing to play along mean you believe there is more to be sucked out?

  • Edgar

    No, Mr. Brodsky, you make NEW mistakes, like denying the MTA $354 million in federal funds up front, and a dedicated revenue stream for the forseeable future (congestion charges).

    You are the lowest of the low among populist, dishonest slimeballs. I hope you’re happy, Mr. Brodsky.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I hope you’re happy, Mr. Brodsky.”

    I’ll bet he is! Guaranteed job, health care, pension, parking placard. Guaranteed sweet deal.

    It shows amazing discipline that they laugh behind our backs rather than walk around spitting in our faces.

  • Edgar

    I’m surprised he isn’t suggesting everyone drive their cars toll-free into the city to deal with the MTA budget crisis.

    By the way, where is Lew Fidler’s laughable 9-CARAT STONE plan to come to the rescue and fund transit?

    Lew, you there? How about Silver? Didn’t you guys promise to find other ways to fund transit?

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Silver proposed a “millionaire’s tax,” you’ll recall. I’m sure he and the clueless dolts at the Working Families Party will be back with that idea shortly.

    Other than wealth re-distribution, none of these guys have any real interest in using taxation or fees to support progressive environmental or transportation policy goals.

    Maybe they can horse trade a millionaire’s tax in return for congestion pricing. I’d take that deal. But then again, I’m not a millionaire and I don’t own a car. Of course, most New Yorkers are non-car owning non-millionaires.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Silver proposed a “millionaire’s tax,” you’ll recall.”

    A $1 billion solution for a $100 billion problem. He proposed spending that $1 billion ten times on ten different things. It was, and will be, a fraud.

    As I’ve written, the tax increase on millionarires will be much higher, and the same tax increase will be imposed on everyone who works from the mimium wage and up. Everyone EXCEPT the retired. And local income taxes are going up, with the retired exempt. And sales taxes. And property taxes.

    Transit service is going to enter a downward spiral that will drive jobs out of the city.

    If I’m lucky, my younger daugher will get three years of high school (she’s a freshman now) with no extra-curriculars, no extra help, no guidance counselers, no electives, and then be told she hasn’t gotten any classes as a senior and might as well take the GED. That is the hopeful scenario, if the limited resources remaining after debts, pensions, retiree health care and no-work sinecures are allocated rationally.

    The alternative is that she will be frozen out of required classes in her sophmore and junior year, as teachers retire at 55 and are not replaced, and end up with a choice of staying in high school for eight years or dropping out.

    Park maintenance will collapse. Libraries will be open one day a week so we can pretend we have them.

    But senior citizens will continue to get free meals with no means testing. Lots of them will get home health aide and domestic health from Medicaid, even if they don’t need it to live independently, even if they could afford it themselves, even if the services are never actually delivered, even if the seniors supposedly receiving them don’t actually exist. The pensions will be paid. And so will the debts.

    And, the unions are already lining up for a pension “incentive” so everyone can retire five years early, to “save money.” Of course it will cost a huge amount of money rather than save anything, but the cost will be deferred. We are still sacrificing from similar “money saving” deals from the mid-1990s.

    The vote in the state legislature will be unanimous in favor.

  • Jason A

    If you just read the media accounts on the MTA you’re lead to believe the problems just stem from a poor economy and simple mismanagement. At not point do any of these stories call out the decisions of the politicians that led to this disaster. I think it’s rather salient to highlight just how much of the MTA’s finances are committed to pensions and debt obligations and should always be mentioned in any reporting.

    Instead, readers are left to believe the problem hails from MTA waste/bloat. The crooks who’ve created this mess, with help from the media, have the public convinced: if only some budget-cutting savior would ride in on a white horse and open up the MTA’s books, all would be well! Nothing constructive comes from this.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The crooks who’ve created this mess, with help from the media, have the public convinced: if only some budget-cutting savior would ride in on a white horse and open up the MTA’s books, all would be well!”

    That’s why, as insane as it is, the endgame may be to get the legislature’s position to increase service. That’s the only thing they are willing to vote for.

    How? Run out of money. Shut down for a month. And then increase service from zero. Unless we are left with nothing, they aren’t willing to admit they’ve taken as much as they are going to get.

  • Tom

    As President-elect Obama looks to bail out the auto-industry, he also considers a stimulus in infrastructure spending. The Chinese just announced a similar plan. However, Japan did the same thing in the 1990s, but with little success. PBS has an interesting take on it:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/blueprintamerica/blog/the-dig-rebuilding-the-economy-with-infrastructure-spending/225/

  • jmc

    I’m sure the bailout of the auto industry will dwarf the amount of money spent on non-highway infrastructure. That’s just the way it goes. It’s a feeding frenzy for the lobbyists, just as the MTA degrades.

    Couldn’t they bail them out by buying a bunch of bus contracts from the various bus divisions?

    Remember, thanks to Obama’s great work on funding transit in his home city of Chicago, the “L” is in fantastic shape 😉

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Couldn’t they bail them out by buying a bunch of bus contracts from the various bus divisions?”

    GM sold its bus division years ago. None of them make buses.

  • jmc

    You’re right… I was thinking of when DaimlerChrysler bought Orion– but now that’s just part of Daimler-Benz.

    Well , then there really is nothing progressive about subsidizing the auto companies to make the same inefficient cars that they’re making, it’s nothing more than a feeding frenzy for lobbyists. I’m sure they’ll make them write a nonsense promise of delivering a PHEV or a hydrogen car in 20 years, but those things should be treated as wishes.

    Change!