Political Angst is Never-Ending

Government is like an ongoing mess that always appears to be on the edge of disaster.  The party that rules attempts to destroy everything that came before it and then the next party comes in and tries to get everything back and makes the changes that they believe will move us forward.  It is an ongoing roller-coaster of insanity.  Perhaps that is what our founding fathers wanted.  The constant push-pull of different ideas, morals, and values of how the Federal Government, City, and State Government should be run.

The biggest problem is sometimes we (that means me and you) live with repercussions of stupid decisions and political grand-standing.  Years ago, George Pataki, ignored the protests of the city and eliminated the commuter tax.  Why?  The answer is obvious.  He did it because he wanted to curry favor the suburban voters to keep himself in power and his Republican-led Senate was happy to oblige.

Fast forward, that tax is probably worth over $500M a year to the city of NYC or maybe more.  Almost 60% of the people who work in the city come from the suburbs.  They use the public transportation provided by NYC.  The experience continues to get worse.  The cities transportation system has not grown with the population, the areas that people have moved into (Brooklyn and Queens) has exploded. The day to day abuse of the trains is terrible. The technology that can upgrade the system to run faster and be more efficient is there but the capital to pay for it is caught in a battle between city and state.  It is a huge ticket.

In 1981, the city was a mess and could no longer pay for the maintenance of the transportation system.  The state jumped in to help but not forever.  The city owns the transportation system and leases it from the MTA.  Cuomo does not believe the subway is the state’s problem.  Pataki made the idiotic move that we are all living with by cutting the commuter tax and Cuomo should consider bringing it back for all those commuters who are just as frustrated with the city transportation system as the people who live here.

Whether you like it or not, Government manages our infrastructure and those budgets and salaries are paid for by taxes.  It is time to charge everyone who enters this city to pay for a working, clean, functioning transportation system including their seat on the train.

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Understand your points. One issue in Chicago is government workers come from a political machine designed to entrench one party rule. Workers have to “get out the vote” for the candidate or lose their job. I’d strongly encourage you to watch MichaelMadigan.com to see how it all works. Another issue is pensions. Can they be transferred to defined contribution pensions instead of defined benefit?I agree, city infrastructure is extremely important. Ironically in Chicago the El was initially a private effort. I haven’t figured out how to separate the political part from the human part outside of privatization. But, I come from a place that is different than most places when it comes to politics.Here is some sad evidence of what is going on in Illinois: http://www.zerohedge.com/ne

  2. JLM

    .NYC is a city-state and governing principles which seem universal may be, arguably, different in the Apple. Fair play to that notion.Nonetheless, the idea of imposing new taxes is a program which requires careful consideration. The answer to everything, to a certain cross section of political leadership, is to tax things: to impose new taxes, to expand existing taxes, to increase existing taxes, and never to control expenses.In certain jurisdictions — Puerto Rico, California, Illinois, Chicago, Detroit — the chickens are coming home to roost from decades of such simplistic thinking.This is going to get a lot worse and quicker than anyone thinks it will. The pension funding crisis associated with government is enormous and unsustainable.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. awaldstein

    I agree.When it rains it pours and this is an ever expanding shit storm.When I can’t stomach the news, when I’ve donating to my budget extent and I feel like I’m doing little to right the boat.Never quite felt like this.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I agree!