Friday, January 30, 2009

Nobody Could Have Predicted

Are there any elected officials who don't assume their failures are universal ones, and therefore not their fault?

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg began his budget address on Friday afternoon — one of his most significant policy pronouncements as he seeks to persuade voters to return him to a third term in office this November — warning that New York City will need state and federal action, union concessions and more belt-tightening to close a mounting fiscal gap.

He outlined a four-part plan to close a projected the $4 billion gap for the 2010 fiscal year by reducing expenses by roughly $1 billion, obtaining another $1 billion from the federal government through more generous Medicaid reimbursements, securing another $1 billion from unions and the state by renegotiating labor contracts, and raising $900 million from tax increases, including a possible rise in the sales tax rate to 8.75 percent from 8.375 percent.


“It’s fair to say that nobody was prepared for the severity of the downturn we are experiencing,” he said.