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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Time’s Up: NY Government –Undemocratic, Insiders Controlled, Disconnected From Public Input is Now Finished

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f Gov Hochul Delayed Congestive Pricing Because the $16 Toll is a Strain on the Middle Class . . .  Then Why are Albany Progressive Leaders Increasing Budget Spending on the Back of Inflated Sales Taxes from food Prices that Seniors and the Poor are Forced to Pay?

By Gary Tilzer

NY is at War with the Poor, Minorities and Working-Class Families:

Despite NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s warning just three months ago that the State’s revenues were down $4.3 billion this year, the new budget just passed by Albany lawmakers was $10 billion dollars higher than last year, the largest government spending spree in New York’s history.  Right after the budget passed, NY elected officials were celebrating with press releases about newly found tax revenue to fund new housing programs, migrant services, and other woke socialist nonprofit groups.  The press is not questioning where the extra budget money came from, except to say that the NY government received higher tax revenue than expected.

Economist Marty Cantor, head of The Long Island Center for Social Economic Policy, has a simple explanation for where the found money to not only close the budget gap, replace the end of COVID federal funding, and increase the state budget, came from.  Cantor says economists call the extra sales tax revenue “the inflation premium.”  Cantor explains how inflated costs bring in increased tax revenue:

When a senior bought a Big Mac in 2010 for $2.24, they paid 20 cents in NY taxes.  Today when a senior buys a Big Mac at $5.23, that person on a limited income is paying more than double the amount of taxes, $.46.  NY elected leaders are increasing spending from the extra taxes collected from inflated fast food, food prices, and everything else they buy.  Even the higher gas prices bring in up to $.30 more per gallon in taxes which is allowing the NY government to spend more money.

Economist Cantor says that elected officials are using seniors, the poor, and working families who are paying three times more for eggs, 33% more for their groceries, higher rent, and gas prices, to not only balance but to increase NYS budget spending.  The same Albany elected officials who never saw a dollar they did not want to spend when they run for office, use the slogan that seniors must not choose between food and prescription drugs, while using the increased tax revenue from those on fixed income, forcing seniors to choose between eating or taking their life-saving medicine, to further their budget spending addiction.  Albany’s spending addiction that included collecting higher food inflation taxes from the poor continues, despite the number of the poor living in NY under the poverty level increasing from 18% in 2021 to 23% today.

The Press Has Not Reported How New Progressive Elected Political Bosses are Balancing Their Record Spending Budget on the Backs of the Poor They Pretend to Help

The media ended the tradition started by journalist John Peter Zenger in 1734 when he was arrested for writing about what Colonial Governor William Cosby’s government was doing to New Yorkers.  Paul Starr, the distinguished Princeton scholar, maintains that the collapse of the newspaper business because of the Internet has limited the public understanding of what their government is doing to them.  Starr believes that the strong newspapers of the past, which provided the public with powerful leverage over politicians and the state, is now gone. Newspapers were considered the fourth branch of government; the end of the age of newspapers implies a change in our political system, where activists gain control.

The hypocrisy of the left is unchecked.  NY progressive activists, who started their political movement with the creation of the Soros-funded ACORN nonprofit with a mission to empower and help the poor, now use the inflation tax that lowered the quality of life of the poor, to spend recklessly, passing the biggest NYS spending budget in history.

Not only are the elected officials and media ignoring how the NYS budget was balanced on the backs of seniors, the poor, and working families paying inflated higher food sales taxes, the press is ignoring the ideological battle that is blocking effective Marshall-type plan solutions to solve NY government failures: high crime, homelessness in every neighborhood and the mentally ill occupying the subways, that has already caused over half of million people to flee the city and another third still here want to leave, according to a poll by The Citizens Budget Commission.

According to the latest Budget Commission poll, New Yorkers believe the NY government is out of control.  The culture of anarchy and chaos described by the poll is caused by the political battle for control of the NY government between socialist progressives and moderates.  Both sides battle each other, causing useless unworkable compromises.   Their only accomplishments are to spend enough government money to buy off each other and the lobbyists, without fixing the problems the money was earmarked to solve.

A $40 million plan passed as a compromise between socialist progressives and moderates in Albany, to stop store looting, is not the comprehensive plan that the City needs to solve the crime problem that has already closed over 100 drug stores in 2024.  Albany’s $40 million Stop the Stealing Plan and several others, were only designed to generate press releases written by government flacks, recopied by the broken press, to mislead the public that their elected officials are protecting them by solving the city’s problems.  To save NYC, to stop additional New Yorkers who love the city from moving out, the press and the public must demand a comprehensive Marshall-type plan that rebuilt and restored Europe after WWII, to reduce looting, crime, and create affordable housing.

Progressive Leaders Value Government Spending, Not the Welcoming Private Business Environment that Grew NY’s Economic Engine and Entrepreneurial Spirit to the Greatest in the World 

On the economic side, the Albany budget ignores the city’s economic problems, its empty storefronts, a trillion dollars in Wall Street businesses fleeing to Texas and Florida, and half a million wealthy and middle-class taxpayers moving out of NYC.  An economic bomb will soon blow up both Albany and City Hall’s budgets.  Both Texas and Florida are setting up their own stock exchanges to avoid the high NY taxes, which accounts for 16 to 20 percent of the total taxes collected by both NYC and NYS.

It is clear that NY’s elected leaders are unaware or don’t care about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s warning regarding the danger of socialists in control of government.  The former leader of the UK famously stated that “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”  The progressive City Council passed an expansion of the already generous housing voucher subsidies (“FHEPS”), from $11 billion to $17 billion — if not more, against the NYS Financial Control Board (FCB), which mandates fiscal responsibility for NYC.  Despite being irresponsible, in violation of the FCB fiscal mandate for a balanced budget, the Council is suing the Adams’ Administration for its failure to implement the budget-busting program, despite the City having no money to pay for it.

Spending government money is not the economic strategy that was used to make NYC the capital of finance, business, and corporate America.  What made NYC great was making it open for private businesses and finance to prosper.  Governor DeWitt Clinton’s fight for the creation of the Erie Canal in 1825, against heavy political opposition, built NYC into the business capital of the world.  According to the Historian James Kaplan, after the canal started operating, NY grew from 15% of the nation’s trading to 60%.  Even the governor’s opponents were saying that “Clinton Ditch Made NY Rich.”  President Andrew Jackson who won the presidency with the backing of NYC Tammany Hall vetoed the National Bank, which was going to be located in Philly and would have caused the nations’ stock traders to base their exchange there.  NY banks’, enriched by the increase in trading and business caused by the Erie Canal and the agreement of corporate titans–J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller–to only trade on the NY exchange, took advantage of Jackson’s veto, and moved stock trading from Philadelphia to Wall Street.

This current generation of NY elected officials does not understand the importance of continuing the economic conditions that will keep NYC entrepreneurial spirit alive for both Wall Street and mom-and-pop stores, the conditions that past generations of NYC leaders created and nourished to build NYC into the economic engine of America and the world.  The businesses that remain in the city could soon face a government totally controlled by socialist elected officials, who ignore or do not understand the role that private businesses played in providing the tax money to build NYC government into the largest safety net of social welfare programs, cultural leadership, public education, and affordable housing for the poor and middle-class, in the world.  The progressives running NY today think that increasing taxes for businesses and the rich and unlimited spending for woke/ideological programs and policies, is the only way to run NY.  NY’s insider-controlled government, which is undergoing change in ideology and values, as progressive leaders take control, is not only disconnected from voter input and democracy, which it was from the creation of Tammany Hall; it is now disconnected from its past economically successful model to attract and keep its private businesses.

The Press is Covering the Progressives Attacking Hochul for Delaying Congestive Pricing, Without Asking Them to Explain Why the $16 Toll Would Not Make NYC’s Damaged Economy Worse 

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After House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries pushed Hochul to delay Congestive Pricing, fearing the $16 toll would kill the chances of NY Democratic congressional challengers to win back some of the seats lost in NY in 2022 to Republicans, the governor’s proposed solution for the billion dollars lost in tolls was to increase the mobility tax on NY businesses.  The mobility tax was rejected not because it was another tax on NY’s already overtaxed NY businesses, but because progressives were upset with Hochul’s delay of the start of Congestive Pricing.

Congestive pricing was not canceled because it would further damage NYC’s already struggling economy, or because 63% of the public was against it, or because of the MTA’s history of wasting billions, including the LIRR extension to Grand Central Station, which started off with a projected cost in 2007 of $3.4 billion, and ended up costing $12 billion in 2023 and the extension of the number 7 line to Hudson Yards winding up as the most expensive mile of subway track on Earth, at a cost of $2.5 billion or $1.5 billion per mile.  The MTA wasted $4 billion on remaking the Fulton Mall subway station in lower Manhattan, which is now full of empty stores and the homeless.  MTA overtime costs are over a billion a year, and fare evasion is over $700 million.  Yet, incredibly, NYC Comptroller Lander–our fiscal watchdog in government–whose job it is to expose waste, has announced plans to sue the governor and the state to force Hochul to start the congestive pricing toll program which will bring in $1 billion at best, for and badly run agency $40 billion dollars in debt.

For Generations, NYC Grew to be the Most Powerful, Largest, and Richest City in the World, Despite A Tammany Hall Designed, Insider Controlled Govt that has Been the Model of Corruption, Waste, and Undemocratic Governance

Former NYS Senator Seymour Lachman’s 2006 book has long been forgotten by the reporters covering Albany today.  Lachman’s Three Men in a Room exposed that the NYS government—with the fourth-largest budget, behind only the federal government, California, and Texas—is a model of corrupt, undemocratic governance and a broken election law that kept party boss-controlled incumbents in power.  What Lachman found when he arrived in the halls of the NYS State Senate, was a Potemkin Village government with a nonexistent representative democracy, where legislators vote on bills they haven’t read during legislative sessions they haven’t attended and a big ugly budget year end secret agreement that the lobbyists and special interest control.

Senator Lachman described how for decades the NYS Governor and two legislative leaders negotiated state business out of public view, participation, and debate to sneak through harmful laws like the bail law and congestive pricing, hidden in what insiders call the big ugly budget agreement at the end of the session.

Albany’s Big Ugly budget is where all the political deals get hidden inside of the final year-end budget agreement, sweetened by member items, lobbyist pay-to-play corruption deals that donate to incumbent campaigns in exchange for government contracts, funding nonprofit groups that have replaced political clubs in providing donations and campaign volunteers to reelecting incumbent elected officials.  Three Men in a Room, in control of the final big ugly budget agreement that Lackman listed, are the Governor, the Assembly Speaker, and the State Senate Minority Leader.   The control of the Albany budget has not changed since Senator Lackman wrote his tell-all book about NY’s broken government in 2006, but it is important to note the three white men in a room that the Senator wrote about, are now two women and two African Americans.  The local press has normalized the pay-to-play corruption, the big ugly, and the democracy killing Three Men in a Room budget agreement, by no longer criticizing the annual NYS Government practice.

Similarly, long forgotten by the reporters covering Albany is the lifelong crusade by the late Assemblyman Richard Brodsky against public authorities.  Brodsky was called “The Conscience of Albany” because he fought public agencies like the MTA all his life, calling them “Soviet-style wasteful bureaucracies” that together constituted a “shadow government.”  With Brodsky gone, nobody fought the big ugly final budget agreement in 2019, which included the economically damaging congestive pricing law, putting the unelected MTA in charge of running the new toll program.  Sadly, nobody in Albany or the press has replaced Brodsky as the MTA watchdog, while the agency is wasting money like a drunken sailor.

Disconnected, Clueless, and Liberal Narrative Press Failed to Report How the Self-Proclaimed Progressives’ Woke Values Change in Representative Politics and Government is Destroying NYC

Tammany Hall Controlled Government in a Decentralized Way, from the Bottom Up, Empowering and Protecting Voters and Neighborhoods to Win Votes on Election Day.  Today, Woke, Self-Proclaimed Progressives, Run NY’s Govt Ideologically, Centralized, Top Down

For generations, Tammany Hall party bosses ran NY bottom-up, using a network of neighborhood leaders called district captains who did favors and provided a safety net for voters to get them out to vote on election day for the party’s candidates.  The Tammany captains provided a safety net of social services for the voters and their families, including jobs, food and shelter for the poor, health care for the sick, and help to find affordable housing.  The district leaders protected the communities where their votes came from, they would never allow them to be pushed out by high-end gentrification or put in danger by criminals or the mentally ill.  They also protected mom-and-pop businesses where their constituents made their living.

In contrast, the self-proclaimed progressives and their supporters define themselves by and focus on achieving ideological goals, using low voting turnout and spinning public relations that ignore serious problems to get re-elected and govern.  Such behavior is allowed to exist unchecked and unchallenged by the weak liberal press.  Two years ago, after Elizabeth Gomez lost an eye in a violent subway attack, Councilwoman Caban has never been challenged for saying it was a one in a million attack and would never happen again.  Today’s woke progressive socialists do not care if the public overwhelmingly opposes and even becomes a victim of the ideological-based bail laws that allow career criminals and the mentally ill to be freed after being arrested for their latest crime.  To the self-proclaimed progressives, high-rent gentrification, pushing out the poor and minorities of neighborhoods, brings more wealthy and privileged ideological voters in their place.

The press shockingly ignored how a cabal of socialist political activists used gentrification to win district elections, empowering woke to take over the NY City Council, the NYS Senate, and City Hall during the de Blasio administration.  Thi s take-over caused change in ideological values in the way NY operates its government, causing a cascading effect of high crime, over a half of million common sense values New Yorkers and over a trillion of Wall Street money leaving the city, empty storefronts covered in graffiti and trash, and homeless hangouts.  According to the polls, those leaving NY and the silent majority of New Yorkers still living in Gotham, blame the defund the police woke progressives’ takeover of NY politics and government for triggering anarchy and crime chaos on the city streets and subways.

The press also failed to investigate and bring to the public’s attention how the socialist so-called progressive activists used NY’s low-voting broken election system to take control of NYS and NYC government and politics by violating the campaign finance laws, which placed them under three separate federal investigations during the de Blasio administration.  Socialist, woke activists started the takeover of NY politics and government with the Soros and government-funded nonprofit ACORN and metastasized into the Working Families Party (WFP) when ACORN was shut down after a federal investigation.  The WFP created illegal pay to play funded campaign PACs:  Data and Field and Campaign for One NY (CONY), to elect Mayor De Blasio, Brad Lander, and Jumaane Williams.

Mayor de Blasio used his office to create a pay-to-play shadow government of lobbyists who in turn created a woke, self-proclaimed progressive, socialist machine that took over NY elections and politics.  This socialist machine created a new permanent government that now blackmails mayors, governors, and moderate democrats’ legislators to support their socialist agenda, or face protests and primary opposition.  This machine is an extremely well-organized, political woke cult, with exceptional grassroots political targeting and GOTV skills capable of pulling out voters who support their woke agenda in NY’s low-turnout elections, to win political control of NY.

The self-proclaimed progressive activists’ cult started taking over NY in 2009 with the election victories of de Blasio for Public Advocate, Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams for City Council, the elections won with the help of the illegal Data and Fields slush fund.  The takeover was completed from 2014 to 2018 with the defeat of the Republican and independent democrat moderates then in control of the NYS Senate.  This takeover was accomplished through the woke candidates run by the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) front group, with the help of de Blasio’s PAC CONY, run by de Blasio’s pay to play lobbyists including Berlin Rosen, funded by the money of the Berlin Rosen’s client Soros and socialist left-wing nonprofits.  See SUBSTACK, de Blasio, WFP, Berlin Rosen & Soros, Used Election and Govt Corruption to Take Over NY’s Democratic Party, Crippling its Economy, Making NYC Ungovernable, Helping to Grow Anti-Semitism.  De Blasio, the WFP and de Blasio’s lobbyist pay to play socialist machine started the movement that now progressed to the Kristallnacht-like attacks on the homes of the Jewish board members of the Brooklyn Museum and the Subway terrorists demanding Jews to leave the train.

The Press Failed to Investigate and Report How de Blasio, WFP, Brad Lander, Jumaane Williams, and Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Brought Socialism and Anti-Semitism into NY’s Government and Politics

DSA caused Anti-Semitism to seep inside NYC’s government after becoming a power broker, by putting progressive Democrats in control of the State Senate.  In 2018, CUNY Professor and DSA Activist Susan Kang claimed that she organized a group made up of a bunch of mothers to create NO IDC NY, to change control of the NYS Senate leadership from a coalition of Republicans and moderate Democrats into a woke, socialist, self-proclaimed progressive Democrats.  In reality, Kang ran a front group, which gave cover to political operatives such as de Blasio, WFP, and liberal unions, still reeling from a federal money laundering investigation of their failed attempt to turn the NYS Senate woke, with socialist Democrats in control.

These same progressive political power brokers who escaped federal indictments four days after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired, provided technical campaign, financial help and workers to empower the DSA in their 2018 successful effort putting left-wing socialist Democrats in control of the NY State Senate.  Upon elevation of the socialist Democrats to NYS Senate, their first act was changing the state’s bail laws in 2019, which has caused a crime wave in the City.  SUBSTACK, It Was Not the COVID Shutdown That Destroyed NYC, It Was de Blasio and His Allies’ Illegal Political Power Grab.

Progressive Democrats built a progressive socialist political machine that used de Blasio and WFP Shadow Government lobbyists to become power brokers inside the NY State Senate, and the NYC Council.  During the 2021 City Council elections, AOC, Brad Lander, WFP, and DSA took over control of the woke, self-proclaimed progressives and shadow government lobbyists (the woke machine).  After de Blasio left the mayoralty, the woke machine completely metastasized with radical antisemitic DSA activists and Soros-funded nonprofits.  The machine supports candidates and elected anti-Israel activists that now run the democratic party and occupy NY’s government and politics. The woke machine’s interlocking, left-wing government-funded nonprofits, with money from Soros’s and other anti-Israel groups, including foreign dark money, are driving the anti-Israel radical protests and are funding campaign PACs that run radical candidates for elected offices in NY.  Jewish Voice:  AOC & the Progressives’ Interlocking Directorates are the New Bosses of Brooklyn & the 2022 City Council (06/24/2021).

The Press is Not Reporting How Controller and Probable Mayoral Candidate Brad Lander Built the Anti-Israel, Woke Political Machine that Has Taken Over the Streets and Subways of NYC

When socialist Comptroller Lander was a councilman, he dished out $80,000 to the anti-Israel group called Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, which helped organize radical protests in and around Columbia University, City College of New York, and other NYC college campuses.  New York taxpayers shelled out at least $2.7 million in political pork over the past decade — including $430,000-plus since last July — to nonprofits that helped organize or support radical anti-Israel student protests.  Soros’s controlled non-profit groups funded anti-Israel advocacy nonprofits, whose members have been spewing hate at rallies since the October 7th massacre carried out by HAMAS against over a thousand innocent Israeli civilians, including a $650,000 donation to the Jewish Voice for Peace.  Lander’s communications director Naomi Dann used to work as the media program manager for the Soros’ funded Jewish Voice for Peace, which led the anti-Israel rally in Park Slope where Lander’s former chief of staff and endorsed winning candidate, Councilwoman Shahana Hanif, was arrested.

Soros’s funded nonprofits helped start the woke, self-proclaimed progressive machine that started changing NY politics and government long before Soros’s one-million-dollar contribution to D.A. Bragg.  Soros’s non-profits contributed to de Blasio and Lander campaigns, and the PACs that funded and worked with WFP and DSA.  Lobbyist Berlin Rosen who was a consultant to Soros, was subpoenaed by the feds for receiving half a million from the Soros funded de Blasio CONY PAC that laundered pay to play money, directed to taking over the State Senate.  Soros’s’ donations to the ACORN nonprofit that taught de Blasio, WFP, and Berlin Rosen how to take over NY’s politics and government.  Soros’s nonprofit, the Fund for Policy Reform, donated $250,000 to the de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York PAC.  Berlin Rosen, ran all of the de Blasio and Lander campaigns, worked with Soros, WFP and DSA, to give woke, self-proclaimed progressive Democrats Control of New York.

NY’s liberal press and Comptroller Lander have not reported on the overtime costs of the over 2,500 anti-Israel protests since the October 7th Hamas’ murder of civilians in Israel.  Several months ago, the press heavily covered Comptroller Lander’s March 23rd report attacking the short-staffed NYPD for excessive overtime.  Lander, who supports every defund or weaken the NYPD bill put before the socialist controlled City Council, is clearly using his office to attack the police.

Conclusion

If the NY media continues to remain silent, the progressive takeover of NYC, the socialist DSA political machine, the radical Soros’s nonprofits, left-wing philanthropic PACS, and anti-American anarchist groups marching all over our City, will soon bankrupt the former richest City in the world, by driving more taxpayers and businesses out.   “The Barbarians at the Gate,” will end NYC’s culture and economic engine that allowed generations of immigrants, minorities, and the poor to build a life for themselves and their families here.  The culture that produced tough, outspoken and fearless New Yorkers, who would share their opinions on anything and to anyone, is already gone, as we watch silently and passively, while the outsiders take control of our streets and abuse our values that we all believe in.  The Mayor must use his Charter Commission to give the power of self-determination to New Yorkers and their Neighborhoods.

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