New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in the midst of a controversial and contentious run for a third-term in office, took to the national airwaves yesterday in praise of President Obama's stimulus plan and economic management.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press alongside Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the billionaire mayor stated the Obama administrations stimulus plan has helped the mind-set of the American economy, even though its practical effects are not yet evident. Both mayors agree that the President’s stimulus package is beginning to bring hope to their cities even if the money hasn’t arrived.
"The main thing the stimulus program has done so far, however, is given the country hope that there will be more economic activity down the road, because most of the stimulus money hasn't been spent yet." – Mayor Bloomberg
Mayor Booker, who has endorsed the so-called Republican by name only Bloomberg in his reelection bid, said the promise of stimulus funds has led city leaders to plan for new environmentally friendly projects that could create green jobs with proper funding. Booker stated, “We really believe that if you're going to have the American dream in Newark, it's got to be a green dream.” He later added, “We see opportunities to retrofit city buildings and reduce the costs of government and energy.”
When asked about the possibility of a tax increase, Mayor Booker, a Democrat, playing it safe by hedged on the issue.
“But the challenge is, is that when you want to do more and provide more as a government in terms of services, you've got to figure out a way to pay for it.” – Mayor Booker
Mayor Bloomberg, whose first increase in New York City’s sales tax in 35 years, went into effect last week, appeared to offer President Obama some political cover to raise taxes on the middle class. Bloomberg stated, "The President has to deal with the reality, and some of the things are beyond his control. He makes commitments and he tries to live up to them, and I think the courage of being able to say, 'Look, the world is different than I anticipated or what it was before, and I'm going to have to face that,' it's fine." He quickly added, “It does not mean that he's going to have to raise taxes on the middle class."
Overall both Mayors left the impression that they are pleased, so far, with the Job President Obama is doing running the country.