It's a good thing Ray Khan and a co-worker at Carrier Corp. weren't driving when asked about Mayor Bloomberg's plan to charge for FDNY emergency response to accidents next year - they might have crashed.
"The city should be providing that; that's why we pay taxes," Khan groused as a siren wailed. "From Day One, the mayor has been bleeding the middle class. God forbid he should get in an accident and has to call the FDNY."
The co-worker, a volunteer fireman in New Jersey, piped up: "He's got billions; he doesn't care...An ambulance ride to him is nothing! It's like change we drop on the street."
Starting in July, Bloomberg's "crash tax" will run you $490 if you are injured in an accident, $415 for a vehicle fire, and $365 if FDNY ambulances come and there's no fire or injury.
So it's a dollar a day for a year for a fender-bender. City officials say it'll raise $1 million for the city's coffers.
What next? Will Bloomberg charge $5,000 for a two-alarm house fire? Maybe he'll charge $29.95 if your cat's stuck in a tree.
"It's bad enough if you're injured," said Claudine Pinsky of RG Catering, who just negotiated a tricky K-turn to deliver delicacies to a Coach Leather holiday event. "Now you have to pay just to get to a hospital."
Until New Yorkers finally turn against Bloomberg and his poll numbers drop into Obama territory, he's going to continue to do this kind of thing.
So if New Yorkers want Bloomberg to stop raising taxes and fees on middle and working class New Yorkers, if New Yorkers want Bloomberg to stop running the city like the little autocrat he is, than they need to tell Marist or the next pollster who calls them that they hope his political career drops dead and has to be charged $490 for the EMS trip to the morgue.