The subways are flat broke, busted. Straphangers are facing a fare hike in 2009, the second in two years. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority does not have the money to deliver promised improvements and might actually be forced to cut service.
Get off the gravy train
So, hey, let's give MTA Chief Executive Lee Sander a $10,000 raise on top of the $340,000 compensation called for in his contract, and let's make it retroactive to January, and, while we're at it, let's build in guaranteed future raises.
That's what the MTA okayed. And how dumb and infuriating can they be? Plenty of both.
Sander and his boss, Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger, are doing their level best to convince New York that they are out-of-touch plutocrats who share a rarefied sense of privilege.
No, 10 grand won't break the budget. It's the thought - or rather the lack of thinking - that counts. And it's the same boneheaded tone-deafness that Hemmerdinger showed in trying to defend lifetime E-ZPasses and transit passes for former MTA board members.
The message he and Sander are sending is that sacrifice starts with straphangers - the very public Hemmerdinger and Sander will need at their side in the coming battle for transit funding in Albany.
Oh, them. The riders. The toll payers. The people who are getting hammered every which way by rising prices, don't get a break on anything and certainly can't top off big fat paychecks with a couple hundred bucks more a week.