Monday, February 22, 2016
Pols think money grows on trees
It was fitting that the governor came to the council speaker's defense, because Cuomo has become a big advocate of the “propose now, worry later” style of governing. Consider his much-ballyhooed promise in July to overhaul the despised LaGuardia Airport. At the time, his administration said the Central Terminal would be replaced, as would Delta's newly refurbished Terminals C and D, and a new link to the subway would be completed—all for something like $4 billion.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the cost of the Central Terminal alone had soared past $4 billion.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was the voice of reason this month in casting doubts on the Rikers plan, but he too has been guilty of this approach—if on a smaller scale. The $25 million cost of a new barn for carriage horses in Central Park was apparently pulled from thin air. His $2.5 billion streetcar scheme for the Queens-Brooklyn waterfront has more than a few question marks, too.
Why care about this? Because projects like these put pressure on governors and mayors to deliver something. Because they don't like to raise taxes and because both the city and state have such high debt loads, they will be tempted to make fiscally irresponsible moves to push the costs into future years.