If Cuomo’s MTA Raids Are No Big Deal, Why Won’t He Promise to Stop?

Andrew Cuomo has a credibility problem.

Photo: Pat Arnow/Flickr
Photo: Pat Arnow/Flickr

He wants the city of New York to pitch in more for the MTA capital program, but Bill de Blasio doesn’t trust him with the city’s money. Why should he, when Cuomo has a well-documented habit of diverting dedicated MTA funds to cover other state obligations.

De Blasio has been asking the governor to guarantee that the raids will stop as a condition for a greater city contribution to the capital program. As a ground rule for negotiation, it’s hard to argue with. If someone asked you for a few billion dollars, wouldn’t you want some assurances that it would be spent on the stuff you agreed to pay for — and not stuff like this?

Cuomo’s response yesterday was to mock the very notion that he’d raided the MTA. The annual $20 million diversion that the governor set up for every year from 2014 to 2031? Calling attention to that is “a joke,” Cuomo says.

Okay, then it still seems there’s an easy way to fix this impasse. All the governor has to do is promise not to divert MTA funds again. Just sign a piece of paper that says the state agrees not to siphon off any dedicated transit funds again.

If $20 million is so insignificant, what’s so hard about that?

  • Mark Walker

    Blaz is actually doing what I’ve urged him to do, namely grow a pair. So my compliments to the mayor.

  • r

    Cuomo: “I need some money.”
    De Blasio: “Well, last time you kinda wasted what we gave you. Will you promise not to do that again?”
    Cuomo: “WHY ARE YOU SO DIFFICULT?”

    We’re screwed!

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Cuomo’s response yesterday was to mock the very notion that he’d raided the MTA. The annual $20 million diversion that the governor set up for every year from 2014 to 2031? Calling attention to that is “a joke,” Cuomo says.”

    I guess relative to the $32 billion in debt, the soaring cost of the “free” 2000 retroactive pension increase, the soaring cost of capital projects, and graft and featherbedding on the LIRR, he’s right. Generation Greed has left us with a nightmare, and instead of facing this he added a joke on us.

  • Frank Dell

    Cuomo started a joke which started the whole of NYC crying…

    -apologies to the Bee Gees-

  • Larry Littlefield

    The MTA budget identifies diversions of dedicated funds, cuts in dedicate taxes, and mandated fare deals as potential budget disasters.

    The politicians have learned they can destroy the transit system and shift the blame. Cuomo and DeBlasio are busy shifting, while the legislature keep destroying.

    The budget includes NO recommended reductions in graft and featherbedding on the LIRR. Cost savings continue to be focused on NYC.

  • bolwerk

    I’ve never seen a politician outside the GOP get such a free pass on fiscal mismanagement (and resource mismanagement in general). The mythos about de Blasio, who, whatever you think of him, isn’t even guilty of that much mismanagement, is that he’s Tammany puppet incompetent with a John Lindsay-esque tax ‘n spend bleeding heart.

    Meanwhile Cuomo can light piles of money on fire for useless bridges, parking lots, and airport spending, and cleaning Chris Christie’s tunnel mess up, yet he’s treated as an upstanding good gubbermint type.

  • neroden

    I think the average voter thinks Mario Cuomo is Governor. That’s the only explanation I can think of. Informed voters all *hate* Andrew Cuomo, right down to the local Democratic Party establishments. (It’s not just New York City, it’s every county in the state where he’s alienated the local party.)

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