The mayor of New York City may be the most unpopular cad in the political arena, but he is also the most woke opportunist the five boroughs’ folks have ever seen. Bill de Blasio, who Americans will never remember as running for president, is staying relevant with the fads and reallocating the city’s public safety budget to appease a handful of activists and protesters. By cutting a billion dollars from the police department, the man finally made the news again.
The plan is to shift $1 billion in funds away from protecting the people and into programs impacting youths. And as de Blasio gloated, influencing “communities in a way that would help address a lot of the underlying issues that we know are the cause of so many problems in our society.”
So, distract the young’uns before they start destroying the neighborhood? The idea has merit and has been the rallying cry from liberals across America in the wake of the May 25 murder of George Floyd. It is a tricky proposal, as New York City has seen a spike in violent crimes – but the mayor assures his populace that he can handle the delicate “balancing act.”
Will this ploy to “redistribute” funds work? Or is it de Blasio’s mastery of smoke and mirrors in deflecting the mess he himself created as mayor of the Big Apple? Heck, even Queens resident Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) cried foul. “Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math.”
Ain’t nobody happy in New York City.
The Walnut Shell Shuffle
The NYPD annual budget is around $6 billion. Carving out $1 billion will not defund police; it would simply hobble the current force or perhaps even prompt a mass retirement. DeBlasio has earmarked $500 million for city youth centers and New York City Housing Authority developments. The mayor is also canceling the July class of recruits – which would have added 1,600 new officers – along with school safety agents that will now report to the city’s Department of Education.
Oh, yes, this sounds reasonable. Well, here is where budget trickery pokes its nose against the glass. According to New York City’s Independent Budget Office, the Department of Education already funds the school safety program and officers. Essentially, the department is now officially in charge of what has always been under its purview.
“Funny math,” indeed.
The wily mayor then doubled-down with an economics lesson of sorts: “If you are not spending the money on that agency, if money that agency was planning to spend is no longer in their budget, that is savings by any measure.”
But Liberty Nation has an in-house economic guru – and baseball fanatic – one Andrew Moran. A quick consult and Moran shared his salty response to de Blasio’s illogic:
“I find it rich that the spendthrift socialist mayor is suddenly concerned about balancing the dollars and cents of New York’s budget. When he talks about savings, it is not out of some come-to-Jesus moment of fiscal conservatism; it is merely an act to appease the radical progressives in the city and to make himself look woke. Now, if he was actually cutting $1 billion and giving it back to the taxpayers, that would be one thing. But, as you point out, he is shifting the deck chairs, so there won’t even be any savings in the end. Considering he is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, I would say he makes Red Sox Nation look bad!”
Ouch on a variety of levels.
Still Your Mayor
As the city faces an unprecedented crisis – emotional and financial – de Blasio blunders on and blathers about his well-managed city now facing lay-offs, shortfalls, and programs that assist low-income residents. When questioned by reporters about decisions and the adverse reaction from colleagues and local politicos, the mayor glibly replied, “Some people are never happy.” Perhaps, Mr. de Blasio, it is because you are just trying to look woke – and it is not working. The Big Apple’s own huckster and his sleight-of-hand game are not fooling anyone.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.