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New York’s Crisis Is a Lesson For Cities Everywhere

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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14 Comments
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When New Yorkers complain about announced cuts to police protection and sanitation, Mayor Eric Adams weasels back, “Don’t yell at me, yell at D.C.” Adams is trying to shift the blame to President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ open-border policy.

Don’t fall for it. The surge of migrants accounts for less than half (42%) of the city’s looming fiscal crisis. New York City was heading off a fiscal cliff before the surge.

Adams’ predecessor, spendaholic Bill de Blasio, is partly to blame. But Adams worsened the crisis by negotiating insane labor contracts — especially with the teachers union — that the city cannot afford. It’s a transparent attempt by Adams to lock in Big Labor’s support for his own mayoral reelection, never mind that he’s selling out city residents.

New Yorkers are getting ripped off. WalletHub’s Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America ranks New York a dismal 147th out of 149 cities in spending per capita to provide basic services. Only San Francisco and Chattanooga, Tennessee, score worse.

Gotham isn’t the cleanest city, or the safest, and it doesn’t offer the best public schools. Yet New York City taxpayers pay top dollar, thanks to a succession of pandering pols.

For example, New York provides any municipal employee who puts in 10 years a health insurance premium, 100% paid for with no cost sharing, for life. Even after they leave city employment. Unheard of anywhere else.

As far back as September 2022, the Big Apple’s fiscal situation was smelling rotten. Adams promised the state’s Financial Control Board that he would “not make any deals that the city cannot afford.”

This June, Adams broke that promise when he negotiated a contract with the United Federation of Teachers that dooms the city to fiscal failure. The Department of Education accounts for over a third (36%) of the city’s spending, and a staggering 46% of the city employee headcount. New York cannot recover without fiscal discipline at DOE.

DOE already spends $36,000 per student, more than any other U.S. school district. What has that bought? National Assessment of Educational Progress scores below the national average and moving in the wrong direction.

The DOE budget soars while enrollment is plummeting.

Even so, Adams agreed to a UFT contract that awards 20% pay hikes over five years, pushing salaries to a record $150,000 for teachers on the job longest. Adams extracted no work rules concessions, such as additional instruction time, to benefit the kids or make the contract affordable. He even added a cherry atop this cream puff deal, a $3,000 ratification bonus for each teacher.

Adams lines up support for his reelection, and New York residents pick up the tab. That’s the Adams playbook. In October, he did it again, signing a juicy deal with the principals’ union with a nearly 17% pay raise over five years, budget be damned.

Weeks later, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Citizens Budget Commission head Andrew Rein called the city’s financial situation “alarming.” What’s more alarming is how the city’s elected leaders are reacting.

City Controller Brad Lander calls for tax hikes on “high-income residents” and the “owners of high-value real estate.” That would ignite a rush to the exits by the city’s wealthiest taxpayers.

Adams calls for immediate 5% across-the-board cuts in all city agencies, including police and sanitation. That’s misguided, too. It would shrink the police force to its lowest level since the 1990s. It would also mean fewer pickups from litter baskets on the streets. Safety and cleanliness would plummet.

A robot can make across-the-board cuts. The mayor needs to prioritize. Adams has announced that the second and third round of budget cuts might exempt police, fire and sanitation. In fact, he should reverse the initial cuts to those departments and take an ax to the spending that insults the public’s intelligence, including free child care for undocumented families — the so-called Promise NYC program.

Then move on to the budget buster — the teachers union. Adams needs to demand concessions from the UFT or surrender his job to someone who will. New Yorkers shouldn’t be forced to settle for less police protection and sanitation while pols invite union members to ride the gravy train.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM

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David Millikan
David Millikan
2 months ago

NY and the rest of the Fascist liberal ran cities brought it on themselves.
They have nobody to blame but themselves. But as usual, they blame everybody else for the problems they created and caused and expect the rest of the country to bail them out. Or worse, follow their loser policies.
I do feel for the actual good people of NY and other Fascist liberal ran cities and towns though.

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

You get what you vote for. Blame yourselves.

Roger
Roger
2 months ago

It is actually so simple, just get rid of their sanctuary city status that could be done in a city council meeting presuming that the city council members have an IQ above 60!!!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Self Induced

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
2 months ago

Right to the point, well written article Betsy, Well done ! The priorities of managing any city should always be police, fire, sanitation. Anyone using their head for more than a hat rack should understand why those matters come first. I lived in and nearby New York City for about five years – during the 1970’s and 1980’s. From what I can determine it is a very different place in almost anyway that can be considered. I was doing an independent research project part of the time when I was there, I was interested in the operations of the ferry systems along the east coast and thought that the Staten Island ferry operated O.K. Other matters made for a change of plans for the ferry operations project/study so I never had any of it published. With best wishes for better days in the future for New York . I am 73, and am a Reagan Conservative. Your articles always make good sense to me. Have spent about half my life in large cities ,Philadelphia, Boston, New York City and the other half in small towns in Pennsylvania , Massachusetts, New York . I prefer being around places where trees make up a large part of the geography. Port cities and how they are managed are indicators of the mindset of the economic and political structure in any area. Planning for how people go about their routine ways of functioning, basic survival stuff. I do believe has a significant relation to how much of any area is forest and fields , or coastal – river, lake, ocean and it is healthy for people to be able to have an atmosphere that respects the natural history of a place. In other words, it is an intelligent , healthy outlook to be respectful of trees, forests , fields , rivers , lakes, the ocean. Transportation between the small towns and major cities is of great importance for reasons that promote living sensiblly, and being knowledgeable of how the world operates . A balance between what is needed for economic development and what is part of the natural plan , could also be referred to as God’s plan, for any area is something to keep active minds active to find intelligent solutions in that balancing of things.

Liz
Liz
2 months ago

N York City is GETTING what they VOTED FOR both in jerk Adams and illegals!!!! Suck it uo ..DUMMIES!!!!!!!!!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 months ago

When NYC got rid of DeBlasio and voted in Adams they were so pleased with themselves but I knew it would be yet another case of “insanity”: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It was easy to tell Adams would fail… HE’S A DEMOCRAT!

Joe McHugh
Joe McHugh
2 months ago

Mayor Adams really needs to increase city spending to accomplish what New York City desperately needs, i.e. bankruptcy. A bankruptcy proceeding would put a court in charge of creating and administering how the taxpayer’s money would be apportioned.
In such a scenario, only spending that is historically related, would be considered for approval. Critical city services would be budgeted according to what the tax base can support. All liberal spending that reflects government “freebies” would be cut out of the city budget. American citizens who receive taxpayer support, and who are competent and healthy would see their welfare checks/subsidy payments decrement over two years. At some point even the laggards and sluggards would start looking for more money, i.e. job wages. Digging ditches, and mopping floors would actually seem to be preferable to what the taxpayers would be providing.
What about the illegal aliens? Convert abandoned warehouses, factories, etc, etc into shelters to house the illegals until their court hearings can determine their dispositions, (deportations). Soup kitchens would keep them alive, along with security and sleeping accommodations. Rule of thumb for the living conditions would be to tailor them to be worse than what they were used to in their home countries. In plain words keep them alive but sullen.
For those illegals who can’t, or wont tolerate such treatment, the government could pay for airfare to their home lands. This would be far cheaper than paying for food, shelter and clothing costs while they are in the spartan accommodations of the warehouses.
Harsh treatment for the taxsuckers? Nobody invited these invaders to come here. You know, they didn’t seek a visa before walking across our border. Some countries subject illegal aliens to summary execution when they are apprehended at their borders. I MIGHT judge such treatment to be a bit too “harsh” at our border.

Rik
Rik
2 months ago

LIAR, LIAR! . . . This Whacko HATES TRUMP and CAPITALISM and wishes for Communism! Yet if one compares Trump’s record with Biden’s record, THERE IS NO COMPARISON! . . . TRUMP WINS IN A LANDSLIDE!
.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago

Poor New York , didn’t read article. Flush and please wash your hands .

Rik
Rik
2 months ago

Liar, Liar. . . This whacko HATES TRUMP and CAN’T and LOVES COMMUNISM!

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