Monday, June 23, 2008

Bloomberg's Gastly Suggestion

On Saturday the NY post reported on Mayor Mike's energy suggestions for the average motorist: "go suck on your exhaust pipe." As the Post points out, the mayor feels that a little fiscal disciple. in the form of higher gas taxes, would be good for us all: "With drivers around the country fuming about rising gas prices, Bloomberg dropped a bombshell into their tanks yesterday by calling for increased fuel taxes to cut consumption."

This isn't all that surprising, since we've long argued that the patrician sentiments of the mayor make it unlikely that he can fully understand the plight of the average citizen. Up until this year, however, he's been pretty good at masking his true feelings. Now we're getting the unvarnished Bloomberg and it's kind of a refreshing change from the six year masquerade.

In making the suggestion, Mayor Mike once again conflated-and confused-government tax policy with capitalist free market philosphy: "They should be raising the tax and encouraging people to reduce consumption. The anti-tax people don't like that. But using capitalism to encourage the right behavior is exactly the [right] direction of going. Tax policy is the way government uses capitalism."

Wow! We think that Mike's confusing "use" with "abuse." But doesn't underscore the extent to which ther mayor is out of touch with the plight of those that the Post sardonically calls "peons?" And the peons responded: "Motorists at a Harlem gas station filling their tanks - and emptying their wallets - were angered by Bloomberg's comments. "Bloomberg's a billionaire and has no idea what it's like out here," said Les Cox."

And on Sunday, the Post follows up with this: " Mayor Bloomberg may think it's a good idea for the little people to suffer a gas-tax hike to cut down on driving and help the environment - but that doesn't stop the billionaire from keeping his own private fleet of gas guzzlers." All of which has caused a strong reaction from gassed New Yorkers: "But news of his remarks that taxes should be raised so people would drive less fueled bad feelings among some city drivers.
"For someone with money, it's just a few extra dollars, so they'll keep driving their cars, which defeats the point," said Ilene Malkin, who spent $45 filling up her Honda Accord on the West Side yesterday. "That tax will only hurt the little guy."

All of which demonstrates, doesn't it, just how Bloomberg views the role of government-as a scold and a prod rather than an entity that does best when it gets out of the way of the folks. Certainly, reducing the role of municipal government, something that would involve lower taxes and less regulations, has simply never even crossed this guy's mind as a serious alternative to nanny meddling.