Friday, May 14, 2010

Over Budget and Overrated

The Wall Street Journal's Michael Saul has an incisive look at the cost over runs in the office of Mayor Mike Bloomberg-and in our view the extra funds expended remind us of the Dire Straits rendition of, "Money for Nothing." As Saul reports: "City spending most directly under New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's control is forecast to exceed its budget by 18% this year despite his calls for austerity in city government. The budget for the mayoralty for the fiscal year ending June 30 is $83.3 million, as approved by the City Council and signed into law by Mr. Bloomberg. But city budget records show it is forecast to spend $98.5 million, 8% more than the previous year."

But as far as over spending is concerned, Mike is no Johnny-come-lately: "In recent years, the mayor's office has expanded its scope, contributing to the rise in spending. Between 2004 and 2010 the mayoralty's spending rose 42% as the number of full-time employees increased 16%. Most notably, in April 2007, the mayor released PlanNYC, a comprehensive, and expensive, plan to reduce the city's greenhouse-gas footprint while preparing for a population growth of one million."

Is Bloomberg serious? Do you mean that this monstrous fraud of a sustainability plan-one that has never been properly vetted by city planning or the city council-is a major culprit of this assault on the tax payer's wallet? As we have said before: "So isn't it time to cry out about how naked our emperor really is-particularly on the issue of climate change and sustainability nonsense. Bloomberg wants to have it both ways. He wants to poster on the world stage as a climate change maven, while doing his damnedest to aggrandize his real estate friends with developments that will stymie all of his efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in NYC."

But, aside from the hypocritical environmental posturing, the overspending has given us very little but a way too costly environment to do business in-along with tax increases that the Bloombergistas use to conceal their profligate ways. And when all other governments are cutting costs-and salaries-Bloomberg is treating city hall as an adjunct to Bloomberg LLP: "The mayor's office attributed the higher spending this fiscal year, in part, to Mr. Bloomberg's decision to award an 8% raise to managers and nonunion employees. The salary hikes covered virtually all of Mr. Bloomberg's staffers at City Hall. First Deputy Mayor Patty Harris's salary rose, for example, to $245,760 from $227,219. The raises, though, did not affect the mayor's salary, which is set by law at $225,000. Mr. Bloomberg, a multibillionaire, accepts $1 a year."

So, in our view, this is one overrated politician-raising taxes and fees along with salaries, and getting little real bang for the bucks spent. Just take a look at the vaunted Bloomberg educational miracle-an expensive failure built on fraud and deception. So, while Governor Paterson is fair game for his stumbling and bumbling, isn't it time for the sharp NYC media to take a long look behind the curtain in order to see just how little wizardly ability actually resides there?