New York City is headed toward the same bankrupt fate as Detroit, unless the incoming mayor tends to municipal union issues and curbs soaring pension costs right away, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned on Tuesday.
And then the radical left elected a mayor who is big on social justice and is in thrall to municipal unions.
Bill de Blasio’s deals with the unions include all sorts of giveaways including a retroactive pay hike. And the city’s budget looks like the national debt of a small country.
Facing skyrocketing pension and health care costs, the New York City Council on Thursday morning adopted a $75 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins next week, on July 1.
The $75 billion in Mr. de Blasio’s inaugural budget marks a 68% increase in spending over his predecessor’s first one 12 years ago.
Pension costs during the current fiscal year are projected to be roughly $8.3 billion, up from about $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2002 when Mr. Bloomberg took office. Annual employee health-care costs have climbed to $6.6 billion, up from $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2002.
During his 12-year tenure, Mr. Bloomberg repeatedly ordered his commissioners to cut agency spending. Mr. de Blasio ordered no such wholesale cuts this year.
“We feel great about this budget and our commitment to fiscal prudence,” Mr. de Blasio said.
Nothing says fiscal prudence like a $75 billion dollar budget. New York City is now on course to Detroit. But first it has to get to Chicago. When you see De Blasio pulling a Rahm and finding ways to jam tax hikes into everything, you’ll know we’re there.