Everybody on the Payroll, Then On the Pension


Sometimes it seems like a fool’s errand to keep repeating myself, but rebenchmarked annual average Current Employment Survey data has been released for 2010, and is available back to 1990 based on the current industry classifications. And Census of Population data has been released for 2010. What it shows is that while the City of New York has chosen, or been forced, to be somewhat fiscally responsible (with the exception of state deals favoring the public employees who commute in from the suburbs), the rest of the state seems to be run by 10,000 Mayor John Lindsays. Meanwhile, the substantially government-funded Health Care and Social Assistance sector (mostly the former, mostly for seniors), expands relentlessly, while State of New York agencies are downsized relentlessly.

From 1990 to 2010, New York City’s population increased by 11.6%, but its private sector employment excluding the substantially government-funded Health Care and Social Assistance sector edged down 0.5% (12,600 jobs). But its Local Government employment fell by 4.3% (20,500), with a gain of 7.7% (10,700) in Elementary and Secondary Schools (from a low base relative to population) more than offset by a decrease in other categories. The population of the rest of the state increased by just 5.0%, and its private sector employment excluding Health Care and Social Assistance fell by 4.2% (138,900 jobs). But its Local Government employment increased by (22.2%). That’s 121,400 future pension recipients, whose Florida retirement and health insurance will have to be paid for by someone. Employment grew both for the schools and other categories. No wonder New York State cut the city’s municipal aid to zero. There are lots of people elsewhere whom the world owes a living, but the world isn’t going to be paying.



When the subject of Carl Paladino came up on the Brian Vines television program (BCAT) a couple months ago, I distinctly remember -as a guest panelist- getting a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach: after all (as a voter) I would eventually have to make a choice and vote for someone in the lackluster gubernatorial field. I left the studio pledging to myself that in the general election, I would keep an open mind on every single candidate running. The reason for my angst was the difficult time I was having in closing the deal for Andrew Cuomo, given my registration as a democrat all my voting life.  You see, I hate candidates who for years stay quiet on certain significant contemporary issues, and then suddenly find their 'voice' just around election time. I don't “feel” that kind of political temerity. I really don't. And I don't think it should be rewarded either: but Andrew Cuomo will win this race -and it won't even be close. You can bet the too damn high rent on this.

The handwriting for a Cuomo budget is on the wall

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

An incoming governor vows change is coming to Albany. The legislature responds we will see about that. 

                          Sound familiar?

At the Democratic Convention last week, Andrew Cuomo took questions on how he will handle next year’s budget.

“I’m not going to raise taxes; I’m not going to have a wage increase for public employees,” he said.

Politically Relevant Info From the Times Article on Pensions


“Public pensions in New York City and State have had a cost-of-living adjustment feature since 2000, but it applies only to the first $18,000….The cost-of-living adjustment was the most expensive pension enhancement enacted in recent memory in New York, according to the Independent Budget Office. The cost has, once again, proved higher than expected.”

Expected by whom? In any event, that retroactive pension enhancement, neither worked not bargained for, was the means Carl McCall used to get the 2002 nomination for Governor over Andrew Cuomo, getting the support of the public employee unions. Not that the unions went all out in the general election to actually make McCall Governor. They had cut a deal with Pataki to sign the legislation, following the deal Pataki cut with Local 1199 and the Greater New York Hospital Association. Of course all this was a long time ago. Which is how things were planned, because we have not yet begun to suffer to pay for all of this.

Who Would Have Thunk It.


Last Thursday night, at the endorsement meeting of Brooklyn’s  Independent Neighborhood Democratic Political Club ( IND), Charles Barron almost did the unthinkable: he came within a handful of votes from winning the club’s endorsement for the 10th Congressional race. Observers ( both black and white) claimed that he blew away the group with his presentation. He did so well that it took 3 ballots for the club to end up with a " no endorsement". Don’t forget that the chairperson of this club is a Towne’s staffer.

Most people there were surprised that Barron could connect so well with a white audience, and this was dismaying to many of his detractors. If this is an indication of how tough this campaign could get for the incumbent, then it’s imperative that all of you in "out-here-land", keep your seat belts on.