Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bloomberg Says Municipal Worker Benefits Biggest Threat Facing The Country

I know, I know, sounds like another one of those lame parodies I occasionally do.

But it's really not a parody - Bloomberg actually said it:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg today took aim at the city’s rising pension and health costs, calling what he dubbed the “labor-electoral complex” the most pressing threat to New York in the final major speech as mayor.

Speaking in a grand ballroom in front of members of the Economic Club of New York, Mr. Bloomberg said that exploding health and pension benefits for municipal workers threatened to undermine the city’s progress and urged his successor, Bill de Blasio, to push through reforms.

“Right now our country appears to be in the early stages of a growing fiscal crisis that, if nothing is done, will extract a terrible toll on the next generation,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “It is one of the biggest threats facing cities because it is forcing government into a fiscal straight jacket that severely limits its ability to provide an effective social safety net and to invest in the next generation.”

“The costs of today’s benefits cannot be sustained for another generation–not without inflicting real harm on our citizens, on our children and our grandchildren,” he added.

Bloomberg tried to channel Dwight Eisenhower by dubbing municipal workers the "labor-electoral complex":

 “More and more mayors and governors in both political parties are asking across the country, which is the first real sign of a crack in the ‘labor-electoral complex’ that has traditionally stymied reform,” he said, dubbing a term aides said was a reference to President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, in which the ex-president warned of the “military-industrial complex.”

...

“I think it’s no secret that elected officials have a tendency to make decisions based on short-term political rewards, rather than long-term economic gains,” he said. “We cannot afford for our elected officials to put their own futures ahead of the next generation’s and to continue perpetuating a labor-electoral complex that is undermining our collective future.”

“We need them to look ahead and to address the needs of tomorrow instead of being prisoners to the labor contracts of yesteryear. Simply put, our pension and health care system must be modernized to be sustained,” he added, vowing to continue to work on the issue after he leaves office.

De Blasio responded to the speech, which was clearly aimed at him, by pointing out the reason the city has a "crisis" is because Bloomberg allowed every labor contract to expire so that they all have to be negotiated at the same time:

“Um, I can’t help but not that we are starting today’s discussion with an acknowledgment of the fact that every labor contract is open in New York City, that’s never happened before, that no previous mayor ever let that happen … So I would caution, as much as I appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s advice, I would caution that one should be careful about giving advice from that perspective,” he told reporters at an unrelated press conference scheduled shortly after Mr. Bloomberg’s.

John Nichols of The Nation responded to Bloomberg's speech this way on the Twitter:



Bloomberg yesterday said that NYC is the best place to be homeless and today dubbed the "labor-electoral complex" the biggest threat facing the country today.

Apparently Wall Street running as one big casino for the financial sector doesn't rank high on his list of problems facing the country, even though they nearly brought down the economy in 2008-09 and may still do it in the future since nothing much changed post-Great Recession.

Bloomberg's totally out of touch, an arrogant billionaire who thinks about nothing other than how to make members of his class wealthier and aggrandize his own ego while sticking it to middle and working class people.

13 comments:

  1. I can't wait for him to be a member of the private sector in a couple of weeks. He can spew as much crap and spend as much cash as he likes. However, he will NOT have the ability to actually screw those who work for a living. In fact, his privately funded propaganda machine has shown to be quite "ineffective" lately. Think about it: He spent big bucks on trying to get mayors to ban guns and they are jumping ship on him left and right. He also tried to get a bunch of his cronies elected in other states a while back and that turned out to be a disaster as well. Good riddance sir!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree that he'll be mostly irrelevant once he leaves office. While it's true the press were laughing in his face yesterday when he declared NYC the bestest place in the whole world to be homeless, his wealth, his ownership of news news outlets, his philanthropic efforts will keep him in the news much more than you'll want to see him. And while it's true he doesn't get everything he wants when he throws around PAC money, he has knocked off some pols including one for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat in Illinois. He remains dangerous out of office and will remain dangerous even after his death. Bloomberg Philanthropy will be screwing around long after he's dust.

      Delete
  2. Thank goodness we have Mayor Bloomberg to stand up and say it's time to end wasteful practices like health care and retirement. There will never be another who can stand up for the billionaire interests quite the way he did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope - nobody stands up for what;s right like Bloomberg. And we know what is right is whatever makes the 1% a lot more money.

      Delete
  3. Actually, I watched part of de Blasio's pressie, and my jaw almost dropped, because I felt that he very successfully slammed Bloomberg (although very politely).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BdB has said this before about the mayor creating the crisis he faces w/ the contracts. But this also allows him to say he's got little money for retro and needs concessions. Gives him wiggle room, so to speak.

      Delete
  4. TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew)December 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    The pension/health benefit cost as well as the social security "crisises" exsist because politicians have been allowed to take money for years that were mandated to cover those things, and jerk them around to "pay off" their cronies (you know all of those consultants and the like), and now that those tricks are catching up to them, the working people are the ones they are trying to screw. Things like we are going to pass the lottery to "suppliment" the education budget. We all know how that has turned out. One head, on one stick...
    I guees I could settle for a bank CEO jail term, but I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. =Yup, they've underfunded the pension funds for years, then claim "crisis" mode! No money, can;t afford the pensions. No wonder - they never made their mandated payments.

      Delete
  5. If he wasn't worth 30 billion, the attempted parallel between Ike's (prescient) farewell and his "labor-electoral complex" would be dismissed as the bitter fruits of a small, ugly old man suffering from delusions of grandeur. For all his wealth and power and influence, (dis)organized labor (people who actually have earned a decent wage, and deserve a pension- not a pittance) by means of the electoral process, have finally given him his comeuppance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, one head, one stick. Need many sticks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The soon former Mayor will have plenty of time to devote his energy to making public institutions for- profit entities, so that he and his comrades can earn those floundering, extraordinary amounts of tax levies. He does think of future generations, and he is no different from other wealthy folks, for his greed knows no boundaries. To attack unionism and its meager benefits when compared to his minions is profoundly troubling. Unions built the cities and educated the masses; therefore, they are entitled to some piece of the pie. unfortunately, the " Robber Barons" have revisited, and any indigenous populations standing in their way must be eradicated. History always tells us the divide can't be too wide or else the stack will blow. Thank you, Dr. John Marvul.

    ReplyDelete
  8. And he also wrote an essay on this subject for the OpEd page of the Daily News today (Thurs., 12/19).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bloomberg robbed the food out of city workers childrens and their pets mouths. What a bitter man. Nice to see Mrs DeBlasio helping to get Pre K for all the NYC children.

    ReplyDelete