Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bloomberg Doesn't "T" Off

Well we didn't go out to Astoria to be regaled by the mayor's oratory, but we trust the Times' David Chen to give us an accurate account of his State of the City address. And, according to Chen-and NY1 as well-the mayor acknowledged that the folks were hurting because of the national recession, but apparently took no responsibility whatsoever for his own role in the local economic debacle.

As the Times reports: "Mr. Bloomberg promised to expand job training services and to organize financing fairs for immigrant small business owners. He said five banks and five credit unions had volunteered to set up a program featuring bank accounts with no minimum balances or hidden fees. And in the city’s latest effort to help stanch the foreclosure crisis, he vowed to establish a $10 million fund that would help up to 1,000 families refinance their mortgages."

The mayor also vowed to streamline city government-a move that we have recommended and is long overdue: "Mr. Bloomberg, who won re-election to a third term by a surprisingly narrow margin in November, said that a new interagency task force would “consolidate,” “centralize” and “reduce” government operations. Among the goals, he said, would be reducing the number of city vehicles, and shrinking the city’s office space by 10 percent — or 1.2 million square feet — over four years. The reduced office space would save $36 million in rent, and $4 million in energy, each year."

Apparently, however, there are no plans to reduce the cost of doing business so that job creation could be jump started-and the tax word is simply absent from the Bloomberg lexicon, except when it involves financial services. And can he knock off the job training BS?-it is the last refuge of the ideologically bankrupt.

What's missing here-and from the commentariat as well-is the fact that the mayor has already larded up the city's budget with unaffordable programs, and a workforce that we will continue to pay for years after all of the workers retire. He has done this by adding costly taxes to an already overburdened citizenry-so his frugal posture now is both comical and sad, making his admonition to Albany simply risible.

So we are stuck with the least creative and innovative policy mind possible-one whose background and class perspective signifies more over development and less small business job creation in the next four years. Maybe the mayor-having bought this election-will suffer a deserved buyer's remorse of his own. One can hope.