In one of the best examples of a manufactured grass roots effort-and a not very good one at that-the mayor led a rally yesterday in Times Square in favor of his plan to raise taxes on commuters driving into the city. As the NY Sun reports, "Over a hundred people gathered for the rally..." What's a matter Mike? Didn't you guys have more than 100 green tee shirts to give away? (Actually, the NY Post called it, "dozens of supporters").
The entire mayoral campaign is beginning to take on a "theater of the absurd" quality, as environmental zealots consort with real estate moguls in some kind of grotesque parody of political activism. Has anyone in the press bothered to investigate why so many rich folks have invested in this effort? Doesn't take any genius to figure out that the quid pro quo here for the likes of Steve Ross is not cleaner city air.
Speaker Silver continues to be the voice of reason in all of this, telling the Post that he believes that a study is justifiable in order to better determine the plan's "overall downstate impact." Bloomberg, however, dismissed the need for a study, saying that the "time is now," alluding to the federal money that he believes will be made available should the state sign on to his experiment.
But Blomberg wasn't content with simply saying that. He just had to blow smoke about global warming and, of course, asthma; "'We also have to do something right now for those kids suffering from asthma aggravated by car pollution,' he said." The Post goes on to point out that
Lancet, the British medical journal, has published studies that show correlations between auto emissions and respiratory ailments.
Well well- put a stop work order on the Gateway Mall right now! Cease and desist on the expansion of the Gateway Estates Mall as well; both malls are in high asthma zones and will attract tens of thousands of additional cars and trucks every week into those neighborhoods.
And while we're at it, let's close up the building of Vronado's Rego Park Mall and shut down discussions for the redevelopment of Willets Point-both projects will generate considerable car emissions and threaten the health of the little girl with the inhaler in the ad sponsored by these very same hypocritical developers.But let's not stop there. What about the Vronado/Related redevelopment of Penn Station? This is going to tie up mid-town traffic for years in ways that are far worse than the current commuter traffic.
Oh, you say we can't do all of this? Why not? Well, because the profits of the developers are sacrosanct in New York, while the income of middle class New Yorkers is continually up for grabs by tax happy politicians, As the Post highlights this morning, even when we get a tax reduction in this town it turns into a MIRAGE. This is precisely why we told the News that the Partnership ad campaign was, "as dishonest a piece of political communication as this city has ever seen."
And speaking of mirages, we find out in the NY Daily News this morning that, given the cost of a commuter bus ride, it may actually be cheaper for folks to get into their cars rather than get jammed into over-priced buses. We continue to find out more inconvenient truths about a mayoral plan that our beloved chief executive desperately wants to avoid having any in-depth scrutiny. We're beginning to understand more and more why he is resisting independent review.