The mayor’s latest budget is a crisis in the making
“Spend it if you’ve got it.”
That seems to be Mayor de Blasio’s motto — judging by the $89.1 billion budget plan he rolled out Thursday.
Outlays would grow by about 5 percent over last year and by more than 20 percent, or $15 billion, over Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s final budget. That’s more than three times the inflation rate for that period. Heck, spending would soar by more than a billion from de Blasio’s own preliminary plan just three months ago.
How does de Blasio manage it? Simple: He’s been lucky enough to be mayor during fairly good economic times, as he himself noted Thursday, and he has enjoyed a healthy stream of tax revenue, one that has even produced surpluses.
And why let a nice surplus sit in the bank or go back to taxpayers when it can be . . . spent — on, say, a progressive wishlist or favors for pals who donate to your campaigns?
De Blasio’s budget hikes spending “and misses an opportunity to bolster reserves,” warns the Citizens Budget Commission.
Worse, its skyrocketing outlays will create a spending baseline that will be hard to rein in when the economy turns south and revenues flatten, as they likely will one day.
Heck, even de Blasio noted that the nation’s growth has lasted nearly twice as long as the average expansion. And when it ends, “we are going to have serious consequences for the city.”
Thing is, he’ll be the one who’s largely responsible for that.
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