Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rudy Giuliani, SSDW

Rudy's tough guy image continues to enrapture the media but his creds don't support the hype. From Media Matters -- who took CNN's Frank Sesno to task for asserting that Giuliani was "tough on crime, taxes, and spending" without checking the facts -- I gathered a few more sources on Rudy's fiscal record as NYC's mayor. If President Rudy behaves like Mayor Giuliani, his not-so tough budgetary misleadership could dive the U.S. deeper into debt. Like Bush, Rudy doesn't walk the talk.

Tom Robbins at the Village Voice:

City expenses also grew during Giuliani's term. The Republican mayor came into office vowing to reduce the size and cost of government. He made good on the pledge during his first term, bringing overall city spending down by 2 percent. But the second term was a different story. City expense spending (not including state and federal contributions) rose by 6 percent in 1998, 4 percent in 1999, another 6 percent in 2000, and, finally, an added 9 percent in the Giuliani administration's last full year, according to the Independent Budget Office. In the last five years of the Giuliani administration, spending grew at twice the rate of inflation.
Debt service, which represented just 5 percent of the city's budget at the beginning of his administration, accounted for 17 percent of the city's budget by the time he left office.
Steven Malanga of the conservative Manhattan Institute writing for City Journal:
...Bloomberg’s argument seems to be that 9/11 blew such a gaping hole in the city budget that tax increases are the only way to restore fiscal stability.
Both the premise and the conclusion of this argument are wrong.... ...During the late nineties, as the economy boomed, the city went on an especially extravagant spending spree. In 1998, the part of the budget financed by city tax revenues rose 6 percent, more than double the inflation rate; in 2000, it increased 5.7 percent; and in 2001, it rocketed up 9 percent—three times the inflation rate....
...Unfortunately, Giuliani abandoned this abstemiousness during his second term.
From the Citizens' Budget Commission, a snip from Media Mattters (PDFs at the link):
In December 2001, the Citizens' Budget Commission (CBC), an independent fiscal watchdog, reported that spending increased more in Giuliani's second term (through fiscal year 2001, which ended on June 30, 2001) than in the three previous terms (Giuliani's first term, David Dinkins' (D) only term, and Ed Koch's (D) third term)...
The CBC also reported that Giuliani's second-term capital budget was higher in 2000 dollars than was either of his two predecessors...
As Rudy's successor Mayor Bloomberg knows, Tough on Spending Guy left a deficit of almost $4 billion for him to tackle. And, if Giuliani follows through with his tax-cut commitment, the details of which haven't been publicly disclosed, Rudy looks more like a George W. Bush "borrow and spend" Republican.

If our allegedly liberal media convey the details about Rudy's proposals (or others' plans) as well they did Bush in 2000, citizen journalists, beware. Months of heavy lifting loom ahead.

SSDW (Same shit, different wingnut).