Friday, March 28, 2008

Obama/Bloomberg? NonPartisan? Ha!

He was only the warm-up act for Sen. Barack Obama's economic speech in New York on Thursday, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg sparked plenty of speculation by sharing the stage with the Democratic presidential hopeful...Could There Be an Obama-Bloomberg Ticket? CNN, 3/27/08

For those easily fooled, this news item will come as a surprise. Isn't Bloomberg a Republican who's brought New York's city budget into balance?

Well, actually, you've been fooled if you believe that. Bloomberg, a multibillionaire and, until 2001, a lifelong Democrat, managed the deficits that came out of the 9/11 attack on New York with substantially higher property and other taxes. There have been no substantive spending cuts. Instead, as tax revenues have risen with the real estate and stock market boom of the Bush Administration, there has been a substantial increase in spending. That's how New York came to have a surplus in a few years under Bloomberg, a surplus now in serious danger. With the financial services industry reeling under the credit crunch, New York City's budget is going out of whack. Except for the fact that Bloomberg refused to lower taxes, to return the surplus to the taxpayers in other words, the city would already be in substantial deficit.

Bloomberg is also a change advocate of the most pernicious sort. Bloomberg to people: eat what I say you should eat; don't smoke; drive what I say you should drive; pay more taxes. If you're not easily fooled, the gossip about a marriage between the Mayor of New York and the Senator from Illinois is probably the truest news story run on CNN in years. The "nonpartisan" label is similar to standard glosses in society page announcements used to veil differences that might end up in divorce court. That's a prospect unlikely to happen with these two. The only objection to their marriage might be from those conservatives who object to incest.


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