Thursday, November 06, 2008

The First Cut is the Deepest

As anticipated, Mayor Mike has announced his first round of layoffs and tax increases. As City Room reports: "Delivering a grim prognosis for the city’s economy, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced plans on Wednesday to save $1.5 billion this fiscal year and next, by trimming 3,000 jobs from the city’s workforce, rescinding a popular 7 percent property tax cut and suspending the annual $400 property tax rebate checks that homeowners have come to rely upon."

Well, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away," we guess-but this isn't a good harbinger for the future political fortunes of the mayor. Coming off an image busting repeal of term limits-and approaching the Christmas season, no less-it's not the best time for the mayor to be imitating scrooge; and he does look a little Grinch-like, doesn't he?

All of which makes us really wonder if Mike Bloomberg is a glutton for punishment. Why would he seek a third term under these dire circumstances? "Revenues have “started to fall off the cliff,” the mayor warned. He said that on Tuesday he had had lunch at a restaurant where business was down 30 percent to 40 percent. “Clearly,” he said, “stores are less busy than they were, restaurants are less busy than they were, and that’s going to translate to our tax revenues declining.” Our view is that he's a true believer in his own indispensability.

This is, however, only the beginning. As the term limits litigation continues to agitate the New York public, the mayor will also be faced with defending his school governance against a vocal group of parents and grass roots critics. And there's reason to believe that he may well be left friendless in Albany as a result of the power shift that will come in January.

It may not be so unreasonable to imagine that the once steadfast Mayor Mike may want to troll for greener pastures in, first Washington with the Obama Administration, and then in Albany, with a 2010 run for governor. Clearly the city heat is gonna arrive early in 2009, and Bloomberg's never been one for the kitchen.