Bill de Blasio reminds weary New Yorkers what a menace he really is.
New York’s unrepentant small-c communist mayor Bill de Blasio showed his true colors in a new New York magazine interview, reaffirming his radical roots and speaking of his plans to unleash a veritable Reign of Terror against wealthy, productive people.
In the interview, the America-hating, Puerto Rican terrorist-celebrating Democrat mayor reminds voters that he has learned nothing during his disastrous tenure at Gracie Mansion. The takeaway is that he believes taxes are too low not only in his city but throughout America, police haven’t been persecuted enough, criminals haven’t been coddled and subsidized enough, and President Trump is a dangerous racist demagogue whose fascistic policies need to be fought.
The great Anglo-American tradition, going back to the founding era and before, of strong governmental protection of private property is a bad thing, he believes. Get rid of property rights and utopia will be just over the horizon.
Like any leftist ideologue, de Blasio views markets – that is, the everyday choices made by free people – as an evil force that needs to be bludgeoned into submission by bureaucrats. Capital must be compelled, or better yet, abolished. Socialism works, he maintains, and people would see that if only the sclerotic, authoritarian system he adores were imposed on them by somebody smart and competent, like him, for example.
De Blasio told his interviewer he wants to see the end of private property and would like government to centrally plan more or less all living and financial arrangements. Yes, the mayor of New York City, the financial capital of the United States, actually said that.
When discussing property rights, de Blasio is a tedious garden-variety Marxist dreaming of imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat on his subjects. Come to think of it, the man sounds like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Asked about fulfilling his much-repeated promise to reduce the scourge of income inequality, also known as freedom, he lectured:
What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.
A “socialistic impulse”? Nothing could be more un-American.
De Blasio, like so many academics and activists, is trapped in a communist fantasy of his own making. Central planners should be telling every New Yorker how to live, the modern-day Bolshevik insists, even though a hundred years of hard evidence, including a Mount Everest-size pile of corpses, proves him wrong.
Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.
In other words, he wants New York to be the Soviet Union, or maybe France.
He brags about “the rent freeze we did [that] reached over 2 million people,” leaving out the fact that rent control destroys the inventory of housing just as effectively as the nuclear bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki, albeit more slowly.
He also boasts about forcing middle-class and wealthy residents to accept welfare recipients in their buildings through affordable-housing schemes. The interviewer complimented the mayor for achieving “two of your highest priorities — ending tax breaks for luxury condos and mandating the construction of affordable housing when projects are subsidized” in recent housing negotiations.
But on this one issue, at least, de Blasio is not entirely suicidal. He won’t publicly backstab the middle-class voters he needs to win reelection in November.
Our affordable-housing plan has a very substantial middle-class component. Now, some advocates don’t like that. They would like it all to be for low-income folks. I believe the mission is to reflect the historic mix that has made this place so extraordinary. It’s an eyes-wide-open decision.
But otherwise, de Blasio is ready to storm the Bastille and drag those of means to the gallows in tumbrel carts. To deal with the invented income-inequality crisis that is a pathological obsession with left-wingers, he proposes taking “more from the wealthy in terms of their obligation to society, first and foremost from taxes,” or raising “wages and benefits for everyday people.”
People with money are the enemy, the way the mayor sees it, not job-creators.
The problem is the top end. In very few ways can we address the rampant growth of wealth among the one percent. The state and the federal government have the power to do that. I called for a tax on the wealthy to fund pre-K. We didn’t achieve that, but we did get the money for pre-K from the state. Now I’m calling for a millionaires tax to fix the subways and to provide the half-cost fare for low-income New Yorkers. If we’re going to have a strong social fabric, if people are going to have faith it’s a fair and open society, they need to see the wealthy paying their fair share. It frustrates me greatly that we don’t have the power here to tax the wealthy in this city.
That New York City can’t tax its wealthy residents is probably news to those residents.
According to one source, in addition to a state income tax ranging from 4 to 8.82 percent, the city levies its own income tax ranging from 2.907 percent to 3.876 percent. Everyday life is already prohibitively expensive in New York City, where there is a 10.375 percent tax on private parking services. In the Borough of Manhattan the rate rises to an astronomical 18.375 percent. The state has the highest gasoline taxes in the country and aggressively awful anti-business policies, which helps to explain why so few major corporations are headquartered in the city nowadays despite all the “I love New York” advertising campaigns.
People are fleeing New York City and its environs in droves, according to federal data. In fact, “More people are leaving the New York region than any other major metropolitan area in the country,” the New York Post reported earlier this year.
More than 1 million people moved out of the New York area to other parts of the country since 2010, a rate of 4.4 percent — the highest negative net migration rate among the nation’s large population centers, US Census records show.
People are voting against de Blasio and his backwards economic policies with their feet.
Those who haven’t left the city are justifiably anxious. Addressing his “fellow Democrats,” Michael Goodwin writes at the indispensable New York Post, that New Yorkers “worry that the growing disorder on the streets smells like trouble is coming.” In the interview at issue, “the mayor dropped his re-election smiley-face to reveal his inner dictator, one who would banish individual rights and constitutional safeguards — all in the name of fairness, as he defines it.”
New Yorkers are growing concerned about life in the city, according to Goodwin:
You have never seen so many vagrants, and so many of them looking deranged and dangerous. Why didn’t he tackle the problem in the beginning, instead of denying the obvious — that the numbers were exploding?
You also don’t like it that the subways are a mess, traffic is pretty much congested everywhere all the time and bicycle riders are treated as privileged characters even as they routinely flaunt safety laws.
You pay the nation’s highest taxes, but it’s never enough. The cost of living here is out of control, despite what looks and feels like diminished public services.
Streets are filthy, roads are rutted, yet every time you turn around, City Hall is focused on race, gender and identity politics, as if that’s what working people care about most.
De Blasio is hell-bent on making things worse. That’s what communists do. Only the good people of New York can stop him.
The mayor isn’t moderating. For the most part, he’s doubling-down on his failures and reaffirming his radicalism.
For example, in the contest to chair the Black Lives Matter-endorsing Democratic National Committee, de Blasio supported jihadist congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) over the eventual victor, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. And he feels really good about it. He found the leadership contest “very affirmational” and is delighted to have “met so many of the folks who now constitute the local leadership who are much more interested in a populist, progressive vision.”
Spewing nonsense like a lapdog partisan propagandist, his assessment of the current national political climate is exactly the opposite of reality. He said:
The Republican Party is in desperate crisis, whereas the Democratic Party, despite its many flaws and complexities, is moving rapidly to realign to what’s happening now in our country, and I’m very hopeful about what that leads to.
Perhaps he is in denial after Democrats received a horse-whipping from voters in 2016, taking the party down to its lowest point in a century. After eight years of Obama-led destruction, Republicans dominate almost everywhere and despite the current ideological struggles in the party there is no reason to believe they are headed for a fall. Democrats are not realigning themselves at all. They are not changing. They won’t even retire failed barely-sentient leaders like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). All they are doing is sounding more populist. There has been no dramatic policy shift. Their sole focus is on taking down President Trump and in the process kowtowing to fringe-dwelling kooks and Antifa-lovers. Everything else is of secondary importance.
Now is a good time to recap just how radical the comrade mayor is.
Bill de Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. on May 8, 1961 in New York City. The Red diaper baby legally changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm, adding his mother's maiden name. In 2002 he changed his name again, this time to Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio, whose mayoral campaign was funded by George Soros, is a proud supporter of ACORN, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and more recently, Antifa. Former ACORN boss Bertha Lewis played a major role in getting de Blasio elected. New York ACORN's successor group, New York Communities for Change (NYCC), endorsed de Blasio and its field director, Harold Miller, helped run the mayor's field operation.
During the Cold War de Blasio toured the Soviet Union and organized for the anti-nuclear, anti-American group Physicians for Social Responsibility. He supported Nicaragua's Soviet-backed Sandinista dictatorship and said he was "proud" to have supported that junta.
In 1990 he called himself an advocate of “democratic socialism,” an ideological euphemism favored by Marxists. In the mid-nineties, he was executive director of the New York branch of the New Party, a Marxist, ACORN-affiliated political coalition to which Barack Obama also belonged.
In 1994 he honeymooned in Fidel Castro's Cuba. In 1996 he ran the New York state operation for the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign. He was rewarded with a post at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He left HUD in 1999 to run Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign.
In 2002 de Blasio participated in a City Hall ceremony honoring the vicious, land-grabbing Robert Mugabe, the openly anti-white, Marxist dictator of Zimbabwe.
As mayor, de Blasio has not disappointed his ultra-radical base.
After former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) used stop-and-frisk to make New York City a relatively safe place again, de Blasio called it racist and vowed to end it. Acclaimed Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has marshaled statistics to prove the tactic is both effective and does not entail racial discrimination. She says "the possibility of getting stopped has clearly deterred many gangbangers from packing heat — which is precisely the point," as well as deterring individuals from engaging in criminal behavior.
Stop-and-frisk continues under de Blasio, but the program has been dramatically scaled back, which critics say is leading to an increase in crime. In November, the mayor said he would ignore any hypothetical order to use the tactic more aggressively. “If the Justice Department orders local police to resume stop-and-frisk, we will not comply,” de Blasio said.
If done properly, stop-and-frisk is not unconstitutional, contrary to what left-wingers say. The U.S. Supreme Court held in Terry v. Ohio (1968) that the Fourth Amendment does not necessarily forbid a police officer from stopping a person on the street and frisking him without having probable cause to make an arrest. But the officer has to harbor a reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed, is in the process of committing, or is about to commit a crime and reasonably believes the individual "may be armed and presently dangerous."
De Blasio went out of his way to rush through a bizarre, outrageously generous settlement to the family of the late criminal Eric Garner who tragically died July 17, 2014, after he made it clear he was not going to cooperate with the officers required to arrest him at the scene on Staten Island.
When the morbidly obese man vigorously resisted arrest, his disease-ravaged body gave out and within a short time he was dead. A grand jury refused to indict the lead officer on the arrest team.
Without even waiting for a lawsuit to be filed, the city agreed to pay Garner's family $5.9 million, which was called "the single largest pre-litigation payout approved by a New York City comptroller for a police-citizen encounter."
DeBlasio threw fat on the fire when he used his mixed-race son, Dante, as a political prop at the time. After the criminal case against officers involved in Garner’s arrest went nowhere, the mayor tossed the city’s police force under the bus. He inflamed racial tensions when he said he and his wife “had to literally train” their son how to act during encounters with police, implying Big Apple cops use minorities for target practice.
Under de Blasio, relations with the police have gone just about as low as they can go.
Three years ago, police union leaders asked de Blasio to skip police funerals and a large gathering of cops turned their backs on the mayor as he showed up at the Brooklyn hospital where the lifeless bodies of officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, had been taken after they were shot dead by an adherent of the Religion of Peace.
De Blasio refuses to accept any responsibility for the cop-hatred he has fueled since taking office. When police turned their backs on him, they were the ones behaving badly, he maintains. When these righteous acts of defiance against an embarrassing head of city government took place, “I was sad,” he said in the interview.
This is about the families involved, this is about the officers we lost. It’s not about politics. And let’s face it, some people politicized it. And it was painful and it was disrespectful to the family; it was tearing at the social fabric of the city, and it was cynical.
“Some people politicized it”? De Blasio needs to look in a mirror.
It is revealing that de Blasio hired legacy leftist Maya Wiley as his mayoral counsel. Wiley previously worked for the Soros-funded Center for Social Inclusion, which teaches Democrat members of Congress how to lie about and smear their adversaries. Wiley, who also worked at Soros’s philanthropies, is the daughter of the late George Wiley, whose single-issue National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) founded multi-issue ACORN in 1970. On Capitol Hill, she taught lawmakers how to use “the issue of race to defend government programs,” as one media outlet put it. Rhetoric used by conservatives and free-market enthusiasts is consciously or unconsciously racially coded, she taught, and needed to be overcome with anger.
“It’s emotional connection, not rational connection that we need,” she said. For example, Wiley offered that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calling Barack Obama a “food stamp president,” cannot be “a race-neutral statement, even if Newt Gingrich did not intend racism.” In other words, all criticism of Obama by definition is rooted in racism.
Maybe Bill de Blasio hopes to win another term as mayor by calling his critics names.
It worked for Obama.