Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bloomberg’
April 12th, 2013 at 11:52 am
The Obama-Bloomberg Axis

Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon has a must-read opinion piece today explaining why President Barack Obama’s policy agenda ignores the economic and employment concerns of millions of Americans to focus on much less salient issues like gun control and amnesty.

In short, to understand Obama’s refusal to concentrate like a laser beam on improving the nation’s economic outlook, one has to remember that the President cares more about wealthy liberal pet projects from the likes of New York’s billionaire mayor Mike Bloomberg than about anyone on Main Street.

The Bloomberg style has several distinctive features. The first is a complete indifference to or dismissal of middle class concerns. In this view, it matters less that the middle class is enjoying full employment or economic independence or a modicum of social mobility or even action on issues it finds important, and more that it has access to government benefits generous enough to shut it up.

Recall that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy Bloomberg was far more interested in seeing the Yuppie-filled New York City Marathon take place, and in linking the storm to apocalyptic climate change, than in mobilizing the combined forces of municipal and state and federal government to take care of the white working class on Staten Island and in the Rockaways. Similarly, Barack Obama has nothing new to say on the economy or deficit, but delivers speech after speech on gun regulations that would not have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre, while his allies in the Senate work to import low-wage labor on the one hand and high-end Silicon Valley labor on the other. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the nation hopes for better days.

Another hallmark of the Bloomberg style is its insufferable condescension. One need only have heard the tiniest whine of a Bloomberg speech to know what I’m talking about. The preening attitude of superiority manifests itself in a form of moral blackmail. Adversaries of the Bloomberg-Obama agenda are not simply mistaken. There is, it is implied, something wrong with them personally.

Sound familiar? You can read the entire piece here.

March 8th, 2013 at 8:32 am
Podcast: Do Sin Taxes Increase Public Health or the Public Coffers?
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In an interview with CFIF, Michelle Minton, Consumer Policy Studies Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, discusses “The Wage of Sin Taxes,” why they do nothing to reduce societal costs, how NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on big soda could spoil family pizza night, and what’s wrong with proposed energy drink bans.

Listen to the interview here.

August 8th, 2012 at 1:36 pm
Bloomberg: Obama Can Win Sweeping Victory by Raising Everyone’s Taxes
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Yes, you read that right. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who, let’s be honest, is the most irritating politician in America) has an ingenious campaign strategy for Barack Obama that’s totally going to spellbind the room at his next cocktail and caviar soiree. From a phone interview Bloomberg gave to the Huffington Post:

“What Obama should do is say he’s going to veto any change to the end of the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts for everybody, and I feel very strongly about the everybody because you don’t want to split the country — that’s not what America is all about,” said Bloomberg.

“Obama would win this election going away if he’d stand up and say, ‘I’m gonna do this,’ and then turn to Republicans and say, ‘You know, you didn’t want any more revenues … I just outfoxed you. Now work with me on cutting expenses, and we’ll actually balance the budget in 10 years, and we’ll do it responsibly.'”

Bloomberg here reminds me a bit of Walter Mondale, who thought it was utter genius to declare in his 1984 acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention that he would raise taxes (Newt Gingrich, who was part of a Republican rapid response team during that convention, has noted that his group decided to pack up and go home after Mondale’s declaration, figuring they couldn’t damage him any worse than he had himself). Mondale’s theory was that both he and Reagan would end up hiking taxes, but that voters would give him points for being honest about it (for a thorough understanding of the truth of Reagan’s tax record, by the way, this Matt Lewis piece is indispensable). Later, after losing 49 states in the Electoral College, he probably thought better of that.

Here’s the foundational error in both cases: the tax argument is about substance, not style. Mondale thought he’d be rewarded for being honest about the fact that he was going to take more money away from the American people. But we don’t generally reward honesty when it’s a truthful admission of nefarious intent. Similarly, Bloomberg seems to think that “unity” is more important than tax rates, and that the American people will reward Obama if he makes clear that he’s going to put the screws to all of them with equal force. But, to paraphrase Obama from 2008, no one much cares what shade of lipstick you apply to a pig. The equal distribution of suffering is not a compelling campaign rationale (although it might be the most honest slogan Obama could devise).

There’s another irony at work here, of course: if Bloomberg thinks that tax rates should be harmonized in order to avoid “splitting the country,” the most logical step he could take would be to promote a flat tax. But that probably wouldn’t fly at the open-bar receptions of the Upper East Side.

July 24th, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Mike Bloomberg: Proper Response to Lawlessness is More Lawlessness
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There’s been a predictably breathless reaction from America’s politicians to last week’s horrific movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. As I noted yesterday at Ricochet, the vast majority of it is for naught, as the crucial variables that allowed the attack to play out were beyond the ken of public policy. But the benchmark for abject stupidity was easily set by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the following to CNN’s Piers Morgan last night while advocating for stricter gun control:

“I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike,” Bloomberg told the “Piers Morgan Tonight” host. “We’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

Bloomberg is now, understandably, trying to walk back his comments with the same rationale that Barack Obama is currently employing — “I didn’t mean the words that actually came out of my mouth.”

Put aside the tyrannical instincts of an executive who sees withholding the provision of public safety as a legitimate bargaining chip. Does Bloomberg not realize that the American people, who don’t share his reflexive passivity, would only further arm themselves in the face of a government intent on abdicating one of its foundational roles? Here (as, alas, virtually everywhere) Bloomberg would do well to read his Calvin Coolidge, reflecting especially on Silent Cal’s reaction to the 1919 Boston police strike, where his response was — as was his wont — as clear as it was concise:

There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.

Not even when you’re just trying to drive home how much smarter you are than everybody else, Mr. Mayor. Yeah, we hate it for you.

June 20th, 2012 at 9:24 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Which Is a Bigger Threat to America?
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 29th, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Moving Terror Trials out of New York?
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That’s the word from the New York Times.  If the grassroots outrage didn’t sway the White House, the objections of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and fellow Democrats appear to be enough for the White House to at least consider moving the terrorist trials.

Even liberal Democrat Chuck Schumer from New York has gently nudged President Obama away from the New York City location.  Schumer recommended to the Administration that they “find suitable alternatives” and that “concerns about costs, logistics and security” might force the trials out of New York.

Since costs could balloon to more than $1 billion for civilian trials in New York, the President is rightly balking from his initial decision.  Let’s hope his newfound ambivalence leads him to the correct decision.

December 15th, 2009 at 9:58 am
NYT Misunderstands Personal Discretion

Despite a catchy tease about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg being a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do carbon emitter, the New York Times goes out of its way to minimize criticizing him. Sure, the self-made billionaire frequently travels to Bermuda and other international locales on a private jet while urging others to conserve energy. And yes, he preaches the virtues of public nutrition while emptying the salt shaker on his pizza. But, cautions the Times, you must understand: Mayor Mike is rich, and rich people like riding on private jets. They’re comfortable, quick, and apparently serve sushi. Besides, you’d ride in one too if you could.

This is not Bloombergian hypocrisy; it is a paradox, shared by most of humankind. I’ve lived within a block or two of a subway station since birth, yet owned a car since I got a driver’s license. There is a long list of public figures — from movie stars to politicians to journalists — who preach conservation for everyone else, while living in mega-homes and flying in Gulfstreams. It is probably not a good idea for the rest of us to look down our noses at people who cannot resist such temptations until we can afford them ourselves.

At which point the newly wealthy would succumb to the temptation to indulge in similar naughty expenditures?

The truth is that Bloomberg and the author of this tortured article aren’t engaging in hypocrisy or a paradox. They’re just opting out. Instead of abiding by the logical conclusions stemming from Nannystate environmental and food policies, they are choosing to exercise their freedom of discretion. Kudos to Bloomberg for saving rainwater to reduce his foundation’s energy costs. Bravo to the author for keeping autoworkers, road maintenance staff, and car dealers employed by owning a car instead of using the subway. But they should recognize that in each case it is the combination of personal wealth and a lack of prohibitory laws that allows each to adopt the level of self-imposed denial they deem sustainable.