Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last Resort of Scoundrels

In this morning's NY Times, the paper credits Mike Bloomberg with fiscal probity on the NYC budget: "Some lawmakers in the city and in Albany are suggesting that things aren’t really as bad as Mr. Bloomberg is saying. They think rainy-day funds and other pools of money can plug the city’s gaps without requiring sacrifices from residents. That is shortsighted, at best. Mayor Bloomberg has maneuvered New York City through one recession. We believe he has a good sense of how to help New York weather this one — even if that means politicians have to make tough and unpopular decisions before an election."

And, of course, the Times sees tax increases as integral to these "tough and unpopular decisions." As it reminds us: "If Mr. Bloomberg’s proposals don’t plug the projected $4 billion shortfall over the next two years, the mayor may have to propose an income tax surcharge. New taxes, of course, should be the last resort. For one thing, the city can only raise the rate for property taxes on its own. Authority for any other tax increase would have to come from Albany, where Gov. David Paterson is wrestling with his own nightmare deficit projection of $47 billion over the next four years."

As the city's financial situation deteriorates, we can depend on the Times to paint by the numbers and recommend what it always recommends-more taxes on over-taxed New Yorkers; except, as Wikipedia reminds us, for the Times itself: "Additionally, the New York Times Company received $26.1 million in tax breaks."