Today’s Headlines

  • I’m glad that Bloomberg said something about that ticket stunt. I’ve been a little worried that he’s so focus on getting reelected that he’s becoming less effective– I’ll take this as a good sign.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    All of the things they are beating him up for should be feathers in his cap. Weiner and the parking brigade (Gentile, Liu, Felder and Weprin) are attacking him on bridge tolls, property tax increases, employing too many city workers and paying them too well, increased parking enforcement and fines. If Bloomberg wins those policies will be vindicated. This election is a referendum on those policies and along with it livable streets/new urbanism. Oh yeah, and they attack him for being rich too. That may be vindicated as well.

  • Rhywun

    You had me until “employing too many city workers and paying them too well”. That is unquestionably true, as anyone who pays attention to the skyrocketing budget can see.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I pay very close attention to the “skyrocketing budget” and I don’t believe city workers are over-paid or over-employed. I might believe they are mis-assigned but there is a lot the city needs to do and it takes employees to do that, most of the mis-assignment is a function of the demands of just these same politicians who demand service to their particular interest.

    Be that as it may or may not, if that is what your position is, go ahead and vote for Weiner. People who have never administered anything always see waste in other’s administration. There is fat in everything. Regardless, when Bloomberg wins it will be a ratification of an active government that pays people well.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You folks are pretty tough on NYC government, and rightfully so.

    But let’s give credit — I rode in the last couple of days, and this time DOT cleared the snow from the non-motor-vehicle portions of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges before it froze solid.

    One concern — so much salt on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway, seeping into the boards which are now white, that you wonder how they will be affected.

  • Rhywun

    The population of NYC is estimated to have increased 3.3 percent since 2000.

    The budget is up 64 percent in the same period (2000-2008).

    I call that skyrocketing. What has that 64% increase got us?

  • Ian Turner

    The 64% increase you refer to is an increase in capital spending, not operating spending. The particular report you refer to answers your question, an extra $10m of spending buys you any of the following:
    – 100 units of housing for mentally ill
    – 6 new subway cars
    – 25 hybrid buses
    – 54 recycling trucks
    – 11 ladder fire trucks
    – 7 classrooms
    – Resurfacing of 100 miles of 1-lane city street
    – 8000 feet of new water mains

    This kind of spending is an investment in the future, a remarkable exception to the kind of collapse that Larry brings up all the time. Real capital spending, unfinanced by debt, is to be encouraged, not decried.

  • Excellent points, Ian. After decades of neglect we need even more of that kind of capital spending. Decaying infrastructure represents a kind of physical debit. By neglecting capital projects we only put off the expense for the future. This economic downturn is the perfect time to spend big on just these kinds of projects.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Most of the increase in “spending” is for debt service, pensions and retiree health care — not services, unless you count this is past spending. Custodial care for senior citizens is also much higher here, and going up.

    Note the cycle — pension enhancements for those cashing in and moving out in every stock market upcycle, lower pay and benefits for new hires in every down cycle (with no one cent taken back from those who cashed in). Social Security and Medicare are no different.

    Debts soar, but all we get is a below even level of ongoing normal replacement for infrastructure.

    Retirement income is exempt from taxes no matter how high, taxes on wage income keep going up, the self-employed are made to pay more.

    And to top if all off, younger generations earn less at work than prior generations did at the same age.

    Young people are too lazy or distracted to pay attention, it seems. Where are their parents? Don’t they care at all? Those that care at all seem to be outnumbered 1000 to 1.

    If anyone cares, read this, work your way back through the links, downloads the spreadsheets, and educate yourself.