Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer showed that he was ready for citywide office just a few weeks ago, when he announced his support for Mayor Bloomberg’s rezoning plan for Midtown East. With a Democratic primary looming, it would have been easier for Mr. Stringer to pander to the ideologues and critics; instead, he stood up for visionary change. That’s good.
Mr. Stringer is a capable public servant whose low-key persona and wonkish proclivities make him well-suited for the job of overseeing the city’s books. But there’s another, more-urgent reason to support Mr. Stringer’s candidacy. His opponent is Eliot Spitzer.
There have been three public advocates in the short history of the office: Mark Green, Betsy Gotbaum and Bill de Blasio. All three used the office’s powers to scratch out a presence in city government, enabling two of them, Mr. Green and Mr. de Blasio, to become serious contenders for the city’s top job. Mr. Green didn’t quite get there; Mr. de Blasio still might.
So the public advocate is an important position, even if it has few responsibilities and a paltry budget of slightly more than $2 million per year. We think State Senator Daniel Squadron is the best-qualified Democrat seeking nomination for the office.
Superstorm Sandy reminded New Yorkers that they live near the sea, and that the sea is not always an ideal neighbor.
Less than a year after Sandy left so many homes and businesses devastated, City Hall rolled out an ambitious $20 billion plan to prepare New York for an age of extreme weather, an age Read More
President Obama’s forthcoming visit to Israel, his first since his election in 2008, is a welcome development. It’s hardly a secret that the president’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lukewarm at best. Perhaps this visit will thaw the relationship between the two men—and the governments they head.
Many experts agree that the Read More
Republicans have acknowledged that the federal government needs new revenue to avoid a fiscal calamity in the new future. True, their recently unveiled proposal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff did not include higher tax rates for anybody. In fact, it calls for lower rates. But the plan does include $800 billion in new revenue Read More
Math and Its Problems
In The New York Times opinion section on Sunday, CUNY professor Andrew Hacker asked readers a question: Is Algebra Necessary? Mr. Hacker eventually reasoned the answer was no. Hundreds of his readers across the country screamed back, “Yes!”
These opinion articles are predisposed to garner strong reactions. Close to 100 readers might comment on an opinion piece on a controversial topic such as American involvement in the Middle East. Mr. Hacker’s article drove 474 commentators to their computers before The Times stopped accepting the respondents.
They weren’t to be halted; they then turned to the open platform of the web.
It’s no secret that local and state governments are starved for revenue. Fortunately, most have avoided broad-based tax increases that kill economic growth and the jobs that come with it. But governments have been less wise and less creative when it comes to producing new revenue streams.
With any luck, that’s about to change. States Read More
The Fire Department of New York soon will commemorate the anniversary of its greatest tragedy and, in some ways, its greatest triumph. The department’s extraordinary sacrifice on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when 343 service members were killed trying to rescue civilians in the twin towers, became a symbol of sacrifice and courage in Read More
With the recent straw poll during the Iowa State Fair—a pseudo-event if ever there was one—the presidential campaign of 2012 has begun in earnest.
But that does not mean that the campaign has gotten serious. Not when a character like Michele Bachmann is running around with a claim to be the front-runner for the Republican Read More
If you thought the debt ceiling deal would forestall a taste of financial Armageddon, well, you obviously were wrong—but don’t beat yourself up. President Obama and lots of other smart people in Washington were of a similar mind.
The folks at Standard & Poor’s spent years giving their approval to all kinds of dubious Read More