Volume 21, Number 46 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 27 - April 2, 2009
Smith’s transit fiasco
State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith gave the Metropolitan Transportation Authority no choice Wednesday but to enact severe subway and bus cuts and raise the fare 25 percent, which amounts to a drastic regressive tax on the working and middle class people of the city and the nearby suburbs at the worst possible time. His “plan” to save the M.T.A. had incorrect math that in effect relied on magically turning expenses into revenue, as the New York Times reported.
The M.T.A. has given Albany a little more time to save us from doomsday. The Democratic “leader” of the senate has a narrow one-seat majority and has been unable to persuade short-sighted members of his caucus to back bridge tolls, and appears unwilling to reach out to moderate Republicans who could back the compromise on the table. He has effectively given each Democratic senator veto power on legislation.
If Smith can’t get a viable plan through before it is too late, then his Democratic colleagues should find someone else to lead them.