New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, once a man of the people, claimed his billions immunized him from the pitfalls of politics-as-usual. Who could bribe him, right?
But it seems power seduces even without payola.
New Yorkers passed a two-term limit on city officials. But Bloomberg wants another term, and couldn’t be bothered taking the question to voters yet again. So he convinced the city council to water down the law so both he and they could run for a third term.
So, why did Bloomberg overthrow the voters’ decision? Not because he’s seduced by power. No. Because he’s so darned indispensable. In an economic downturn, the city needs a financial wizard like him to steer things.
Except this is the same maestro who dug New York’s current financial hole. The city is looking at a $7 billion budget deficit in a couple years if nothing changes. And according to a new report by the Citizens Budget Commission, the average cost of city employees has increased 63 percent since 2000. Average pay has jumped from $52,000 a year to $69,000. Then you have benefits, which ballooned from $13,000 a year to a whopping $38,000 a year.
Bloomberg can’t say no to unions, so taxpayers suffer. He can’t say no to a power grab, so democracy suffers.
Gee whiz, who but Bloomberg could give us all this suffering?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.