“One city lawmaker called it Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ‘Let them eat cake’ attitude.” This is kind of a breakthrough for the New York Times — though its commenters frequently quote Marie Antoinette in reference to the Mayor, the paper itself usually eschews such vulgar class war tropes.
But Bloomberg has done something odd, too: described the $400 property tax rebate he had rescinded, then learned he had no authority to rescind, as “up in the air.” When asked about the people who were counting on the money, he said, “Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”
At another event the Mayor said that “Obviously we aren’t going to send out checks when we don’t have the money for the moment” and “This is not something that is going to be decided by litigation” (though it was decided by legislation, and the council may litigate to force the Mayor’s cooperation).
The Times even allows councilmember Lewis Fidler, who is quoted in the lede, to go on: “They look at what does this mean to someone on the Upper East Side or Central Park West and say, $400, so what?” An old lady on Social Security, Fidler adds, could really use the money — which, as we learned from the late Presidential campaign, is damned near socialism.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 20, 2008