Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bloomberg Silence: Part II

Earlier we pointed out that the mayor's new found stab at eloquence should be shelved for silence because of the paucity of achievements that the Bloomberg administration can justifyingly point to. In doing so we left at a significant reason-and perhaps the most significant reason-for the mayor to remain mute-especially in the area of fiscal management. In this regard Mike Bloomberg is throwing stones from inside a glass house.

The NY Post highlights the incongruity of the 99 lb weakling trying to Bogart a bully pulpit:

"Sure, when it comes to Washington’s spending, he’s got all the answers. But critics note New York City’s debt has ballooned on Mayor Bloomberg’swatch. Hizzoner said on Tuesday that fixing the federal budget is “just not that difficult to do, if you have courage.” He scolded President Obama and both houses of Congress for their budget gridlock, sketching out a cost cutting, tax raising, entitlement shaving plan that he said would dismantle the deficit and balance the budget in 10 years. “I was reminded of the guy telling his neighbor how to fix his roof while his own is leaking,” Councilman James Oddo (RSI/Brooklyn) said of Bloomberg’s lecture. “Ten years into the mayor’s term, we have large, longterm fiscal problems we have not dealt with.”

The sharp minded Nicole Gelinas adds more ridicule to the mayor's farcical posturing: "Debt above 15 percent of personal income is not a good idea,” said Nicole Gelinas, of the Manhattan Institute. Worse, the mayor has kicked the can down the road when it comes to the budget busters of the future. “The city continues to take on pension and healthcare benefits for its current and future retirees that it cannot afford,” Gelinas said."

Mike Bloomberg has increased the size and scope of NYC government with little or no evident payoff in terms of better services-pay attention to the education budget if you want the sad truth. In the process of hiring more and more municipal workers he has added to the ballooning debt that is saddling future generations of New Yorkers.

And where is the danger in all of this impecunious behavior? Right in the capitol budget where the city is kicking the debt can down the road: "The expense budget, which by law must be balanced every year, is funded by taxes and fees. Money for the capital budget comes from bonds that the city sells to investors and must pay off, with interest, over many years. The city’s growing debt comes from increases in capital spending, which means higher principal and interest payments."

Which gets us to the issue of the development of Willets Point. Can we afford to develop the site and increase the burgeoning debt for a project that might take decades to come to fruition? In raising this question we are still waiting for the city to put a price tag on all of this silliness. Someone should try to get the answer to this and get the cost/benefit equation before the public in the context of the city's debt crisis.