Thursday, February 14, 2008

Surviving the fiscal crunch

The city government could save millions of dollars by implementing voting by mail, moving jury duty to the summer for teachers, or even taxing breast implants and face-lifts, according to an Independent Budget Office report that offers 63 ways to help close a budget gap the IBO estimates will be $3.1 billion in 2009.

Budget Office Offers 63 Ways For City To Save

The IBO's suggestions came as the city comptroller, William Thompson Jr., said the economic environment ahead looks grim, although New York City posted a higher growth rate than rest of the nation last quarter, 1.1% versus 0.6%.

Angry NYer has his own analysis:

Some of the ideas seem just plain dumb, like reducing fire truck crews. In a post 9/11 NYC that is growing in population, any FDNY cut is just a stupid and dangerous one. But this report is savvy enough to point that out (well, not as bluntly as I do, but…)

IBO report: how to raise cash for the city.


Anonymous said...

I think summertime jury duty for teachers is a fabulous idea. In fact, every teacher should be required to serve jury duty every summer in order to sit at home and cash the paychecks they receive for doing nothing. They do, after all, work around 70 days a year less then the rest of us.

Liman said...

Voting by mail? VOTING BY MAIL??? How many ways is that bad idea?

1. Secret ballot? How old fashioned. Today your vote is really private. By mail, there will be no control over who's standing next to you nudging you to vote for Liu, or Quinn, or whomever. Imagine the big events thrown by developers. "OK everybody, put down your drinks! It's time to fill out our ballots for our host Assemblyman Tweed"

2. How much faith do you have that your mail will be delivered on time? Or delivered at all?

3. Now, on Election Day we hire a bunch of people to stand around. The machines do most of the work. Under this system, we'd have to hire MANY more people (some of whom might be able to read and speak English)to open the mail and manually count (or at least handle)every individual ballot. In other words, it'll cost us MORE.

4. The machine doesn't know who you are when you vote; the guy opening your vote-letter will.

5. There must be 50 more ways mail ballots can be abused, misused, mishandled, or subject to outright fraud.

We should be outraged that someone in our government should even THINK about messing with the absolute fundamentals of our democracy.