So, there I was on Sunday, minding my own business, watching “White Collar” on TV, when I took a break to eat. While I am eating, I am listening to the news when I hear this: Our esteemed governor, the most powerful elected official in New York, a legend in his own mind, called on President Trump to bail out New Yorkers from the pending (actual if you ask the riders) crisis in the mass transit system, particularly Penn Station and the MTA.
He said this should be treated as an emergency situation, and the whole United States should send funds for infrastructure maintenance and repairs, alternative transportation and long-term solutions. He then compared it to a natural disaster as, like them, it will affect millions of people and businesses with “dire consequences.”
This is where I almost spit up my food. He goes on to say, like a natural disaster, “we” did not create it, but “we” are required to address it.
We did not create this?! What?! It came out of nowhere without warning?
The thing is, Cuomo was serious. He really and truly wants us to believe that this failure of government is not the government’s fault.
What? They do not take enough from the commuters? Tolls are not high enough? Fifteen dollars to cross the George Washington Bridge or Verrazano Bridge is too low? Gas taxes dedicated to mass transit are too low? The extra fees on our electric, cable and telephone bill are not enough? Over $400 for a monthly pass to take the train from Peekskill to New York is too low?
No! We are to believe that this failing infrastructure is now to be financed by the whole United States? We are to demand, through taxes, that the whole United States pay for our mismanagement; to pay for our top-heavy overpaid executives with their private cars and jets; to pay for antiquated union rules, overblown pensions and benefits. Millions and millions of dollars are going to this bloat that by all rights should be spent on upkeep.
We pay extra fees at the DMV for mass transit. It is ALL supposed to go there. Yet, budget after budget, the legislature takes some of that money and puts it into the general fund. They do the same thing with our gas taxes (67 cents per gallon) that are supposed to ALL go to highway and mass transit infrastructure and they take most of that and put it in the general fund. You probably thought highway robbers went out with the old west. It did not! It is right here in Albany!
This is NOT a natural disaster, but wholly a man-made disaster brought to us from our so-called representatives in Albany. Right now, as it stands, the users of transit pay only 25 percent of the costs. The rest is borne by the citizens of New York. It is said that because all New York benefits, all New York should shoulder the brunt of the cost. In reality, it is those who are part of the bloat who receive the most benefit, for they earn it the least.
So now our governor, who has dissed this president every step of the way and proudly says he will lead the resistance to his policies, says he as a New Yorker owes it to us. Fact, you do not call someone’s wife and kids ugly (figure of speech, he never did) and then ask to go to their house for dinner. He and many of the citizens of New York, mostly the urban centers where mass transit is a way of life, have been extremely disrespectful of this president. One cannot demand the privileges of free speech and not also the responsibility of the consequences.
Maybe Trump will propose monies for our problem. However, if he does, he does it in spite of ourselves. In reality we deserve squat.
This is what I say. What say you?