Monday, February 28, 2011

Bloomberg Cuts Budgets of Critics and Rivals

Mayor Bloomberg, who gave his own advisors retroactive pay raises, has proposed drastic budget cuts for the other major elected officials in NYC.

Retroactive Raises for Bloomberg Advisors

Mayor Bloomberg quietly provided two years of retroactive pay raises (essentially huge bonuses plus major pay raises) to 7,000 members of his staff in 2009. He made this generous donation to the checkbooks of his advisors during the biggest budget crisis in decades in NYC and during the deepest recession in our country since the Great Depression.

The arrogance was astonishing because he was simultaneously raising sales taxes. His advisors were getting huge bonuses and raises that were paid for by the purchases of poor New Yorkers enduring a regressive tax. Bloomberg refused to raise income taxes (which could have been structured in a progressive manner) while embracing regressive taxation.

As the Mayor proposes layoffs for teachers in NYC and cuts services for our residents, he hasn't asked his own advisors to participate in the pain.

Bloomberg has worked hard to maintain an administration essentially devoid of people of color. He has a smaller percentage of people of color in his administration than even Mayor Giuliani (with all of his venom racist rhetoric and behavior) had. Giuliani refused to meet with any Black elected officials during his time as Mayor, but he had more people of color in his administration than Bloomberg has.

Bloomberg's non-diverse administration has kept its raises and bonuses while everyone else is cut.

Unfair Cuts

Unfairly, Bloomberg has proposed cutting the budgets of the five Borough Presidents and the Public Advocate by up to 36%.

Bloomberg is ensuring that his critics and rivals are crippled by a lack of resources, and he is also sending a message to all elected officials in New York City that he will slash their budgets if they don't support his agenda.

Bloomberg has taken advantage of his power in this way previously. In 2010, Bloomberg took $1mm away from the Borough Presidents without warning, leaving those elected officials scrambling to fill sudden budget gaps in their offices.

Bloomberg Without Checks or Balances

Because Mayor Bloombeg operates without checks and balances, and because he refuses to treat New York City residents fairly, Bloomberg has been able to exclude nearly all people of color from his administration, provide huge raises for his advisors while cutting resources throughout the rest of the government, and abuse other elected officials through the budget process. His arrogant emperor-mindset has never been acceptable, and it is getting worse.

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