Friday, April 16, 2010

Self Promoting Phony Fiscal Probity

Daily Politics has an unintentionally ironic piece on the mayor's railing against the irresponsibility of the state senate's promotion of property tax cuts. In typical Bloomberg fashion, he presents his opposition as a paradigm of fiscal responsibility: "And even one plan in Albany, this is craziness, is to cut property taxes before they figured out where the money to fund the schools was going to come from. These guys can’t figure out how to close the budget gap they’ve got and this would just make it bigger..."

Bloomberg goes on to tell John Gambling that the folks will understand it if the property tax reduction is excluded from the final budget deal: "Some Legislators think it will win votes in the suburbs, but I think voters are smart enough to know that they’re just paying for it on the backend through cuts to the schools and their neighborhood. You know, fiscal responsibility, John, is about tough choices, but keeping teachers in our classrooms and maintaining a State commitment to support education is more important that spending money on just these feel good politics- polices in an election year. This is craziness."

Gee, tell that to Tom Suozzi Mike. Our buddy Austin Shafran makes the point here-albeit in a partisan fashion: "Property taxes are among the highest in the nation. They've jumped 320 percent in Nassau County since Dean Skelos took office and 550 percent in Suffolk County since Ken LaValle took office."

Now we'll hold judgment over whether the Democrats' plan is a worthy one, but the issue of over-taxation is as real as a heart attack for Long Island and Westchester residents-who, if they had Tax and Spend Mike as a county executive, would have booted him in the same fashion that Suozzi and Spano were shown the door (Democrats we believe).

And for Phony Test Scores Bloomberg to use education as his sacred cow-after he jacked up the local school budget to Bloombergian heights-is the acme of misdirection; and New Yorkers should be demanding a similar tax rebate from the mayor for all of this money for nothing. The, "tough choices," that Bloomberg refers to has given the city a bloated and out of control public payroll-and an educational edifice that hasn't advanced the interests of city school kids to any meaningful degree.

For Mike Bloomberg, an expansive government is inherent in his political DNA. For him to chastise property tax cuts after he raised these levies to astronomical levels in 2002, is adding insult to massive injury. He's the last person to lecture others in this sensitive area.