The 10 Ways Bush Screwed New York

A presidential potpourri of cuts, blunders, stonewalls, deceptions, and distractions

NYC will live with the consequences of what the IG concluded were White House efforts to "add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" for years, if not decades, to come. Asbestos is a long-term and relentless killer. We have already learned that 2,500 firefighters alone have diminished lung capacity due to inhaling WTC debris. Six hundred have already retired with GZ disabilities or are seeking these costly pensions. Lower Manhattan residents are suing EPA because it left them to fend for themselves, dodging interior cleanup responsibilities until a year after the attack. Eighty percent of the homes have still never been tested or cleaned. Do you think that will be the Bush attitude in a post-hurricane swing state?

8 Bush has left most New York children behind. Congressman Anthony Weiner has calculated that the administration has shortchanged the city by $2.5 billion through cuts in the five key education programs funded under the Bush schools initiative, No Child Left Behind. NCLB hasn't just hurt the pocketbook, it's also forced traumatic overcrowding by widening parental choice, damaging high-performing schools and emptying low-performing ones.

photo: Jake Price

9 Ten thousand NY families are in jeopardy of losing their housing subsidies and homes. Bush has proposed a $107 million cut in NY's Section 8 housing vouchers. If passed, it will be the first time this voucher program has ever been reduced. The administration is also trying to recapture $50 million in subsidies the city already got. Since Bush took office, the city's housing authority, which is home to one in every 12 NYers, has taken, according to Maloney, Weiner, and other House Democrats, a $175 million drop in federal funding.

As damaging as the school and housing cuts are, they are part of a fabric of fiscal warfare against the city. The attempt to reconstitute the highway and transit formula threatens to financially cripple our subway system (will any delegates ride it even once?). Workforce Investment Act funding for job training has fallen by 41 percent even as our employment figures have nosedived. Safety net programs for the uninsured, called the Healthy Community Access Program (HCAP), plummet from $120 million to $10 million in Bush's proposed budget. These cuts may well be a precursor of the decimation of these programs in a deficit-reducing Term 2.

10 With NYC the No. 1 target of bio and nuclear terrorists, the go-it-alone Bush administration has torpedoed international treaties that would make us more secure. Earlier this month in Geneva, the U.S. reversed Clinton's support of a U.N. agreement banning the production and supply of highly enriched uranium essential to building nukes. Strongly supported by allies like Britain, the fissile material cut-off treaty, as it's called, would've reduced the chances of terror groups acquiring a nuclear capability. In 2001, Bush did the same to scuttle a biological-weapons convention, though 55 nations had signed on after seven years of negotiation. Elisa Harris, who oversaw proliferation issues for Clinton's NSC, said that the Bush administration was sending "a very dangerous message," acting on the neoconservative distrust of any binding restraints on America First policy.

Research assistance: Abby Aguirre, Caitlin Chandler, Ben Reiter, Marc Schultz, Ben Shestakofsky, and Ned Thimmayya

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