Friday, January 29, 2010

NYC Budget Crisis 2010

Kudos to the Times

The New York Times has an excellent article today on the current municipal budget problems in New York City. It covers all the bases, how everyone (e.g. those that get money from the city) wants to see spending cuts, but not their own, how budget formulators put the most critical things on the chopping block (teachers, policeman, fire stations, soup kitchens, garbage removal and cleaning of roads) instead of things like 'back-office' and 'front-office' support, how the high salaries of government workers, including the Mayor's ex-campaign manager, are off-the-block for cuts, and how the unions immediately so No! to any 'sacrifice' (even one that includes a raise).

The writer, Clyde Haberman, also states how we have been here before, in the 1970s, so to sum-up, it takes a crisis to wake-up to reality sometimes, but again, it's just politics as usual and the only solution is to reduce the things that we believe the government should be doing (drug war, menu-labelling, salt and fat bans? More charter schools to increase competition and thus reduce public education costs?), that is the only way to get the deficit under control. At least the Mayor (as far as I know) is not resorting to "tax the rich" populism, which is indeed what gutted the City in the 1970s.