Friday, April 18, 2008

A Legacy Admission

In today's NY Post, the paper's Adam Brodsky takes a look a Mike Bloomberg's mayoral tenure; and he's looking for legacy in all the wrong places. After praising the mayor's "caretaker" role- things didn't go rapidly downhill after 9/11, he can't seem to find anything of any lasting merit. Which is not terribly shocking.

The mayor said that we should judge his mayoralty on the success or failure of his education policies-strike one; mayoral control without any real educational vision has led us into a cul de sac. After playing around with all of the progressive miseducators for a few years, Klein and company are floundering and the city's test scores are stagnant. No legacy here, unless you include a lingering distaste for mayoral control of the schools.

There is one area where Bloomberg stands out. As Brodsky tells us: "And, yes, there is more to do - like tending to the one festering sore that New York pols consistently ignore: exorbitant taxes. New Yorkers pay more than almost any other urbanites in America. Alas, Hizzoner just raised the city sales taxes again - this time, by a whopping 33 percent, from 3 to 4 cents on a dollar. (It's been four cents, but was scheduled to drop to 3 by summer - until Mike jacked it back up.) He's also talking about boosting property taxes as much as 7 percentage points, even though he already raised them once during his first term."

And if the mayor had his way we'd have had the congestion tax as well. So the legacy here is a simple one: when faced with the challenge to make government more efficient, and save the overburdened tax payers some of their hard earned money, the mayor simply opted out-proving that he has more John Lindsay in him than Rudy Giuliani.

That will be his enduring legacy, missing the opportunity to reform how the public sector does business; and more concerned with regulating the private behavior of New York's citizenry. When the post 9/11 history is written, he will not be remembered fondly.