As if New York's economy wasn't already stressed enough, there's a renewed push in the City Council for a local "living wage" law that could hinder the city's economic renewal while reducing job opportunities for the very people it is supposed to help.
At a time when New York desperately needs to find ways of delivering public services more efficiently, its transit bus operations could prove to be a significant source of recurring savings for the future.
The key to unlocking these savings is competition—an essential spur to improved performance and efficiency that’s been missing from transit in New York for most of the past 50 years.
The two New Yorks - city and state - were the nation's twin towers of public indebtedness long before the tragic events of Sept. 11 placed extraordinary new strains on their budgets.
Will city leaders use 9/11 as an excuse to saddle future taxpayers with debt to close part of next year's $4 billion budget gap?
Much of Gov. Pataki's proposed state budget (his costly expansion of health care, in particular) is a far cry from the leaner, cleaner fiscal plans of his first term. But in at least one crucial respect, New York's revenue shortfall has prompted a welcome return to his budgetary roots: For the first time in seven years, the governor is launching a concerted effort to reduce the size of the state work force.
As another budget cycle begins, Governor Pataki is once again citing his record of spending restraint. Adjusted for inflation, however, the rate of state spending growth actually has been higher in Governor Pataki's first two terms than it was in Mario Cuomo's last two terms.
Overshadowed by his predecessor for most of an all-too-brief transition period, Michael Bloomberg has emerged into the mayoral spotlight with an impressive early show of fiscal leadership.
One of first things Mayor Bloomberg needs to do is to disabuse himself of the notion that the city's budget gap is mainly "a revenue problem," as he put it soon after the election.
Yes, revenue projections have fallen sharply in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. But the city faced a budget gap even pre-9/11 - and the fundamental reason is spending.