Anthony’s Ideas

The Voice’s Wayne Barrett has what, if Anthony is still around tomorrow, will be next week’s story everywhere: That many of the candidate’s vaunted policy proposals are impossibly vague or seriously flawed.

From the start, the “man of ideas” thing was more strategy than content. There was a long, serious drumroll of “policy speeches” and a torrent of “ideas.” But somehow, the quotation marks never quite departed. Many of the central ideas are paper thin.

In our pox-on-all-your-houses piece a few weeks ago, Lizzy Ratner and I wrote that “it’s hard to escape the feeling that Mr. Weiner is little more than Mr. Schumer’s skinny Mini Me, a flyweight mimic of the muscular old bruiser. His tax plan, for instance, is a back of the envelope calculation lopping 10 percent off the top of the city’s tax rates. At one recent presser an announcement of Mr. Weiner’s plans for ‘real fiscal responsibility’ the would be Mayor made the classic, technical but telling mistake of confusing the capital budget for the expense budget.”

Today, Wayne takes a look at Weiner’s proposed cuts, and notices that they seem likely all to come out of child welfare and other social services — a fact that won’t thrill many Democratic voters.

Now, thick policy papers can be over-rated. Mike, for example, had the money to buy top experts to do his policy work in 2001. But he hardly memorized them at the time, and was free to ignore major planks — from school uniforms to the Cross-Harbor tunnel — later. The “white papers” were a gesture, not a commitment.

Still, Anthony’s going to need to add some substance to his “substance” if he makes it past today, either in the form of one big, clear idea or some explanations to accompany his little ones.