In Sunday’s Projo, Froma Harrop writes approvingly about recently-turned independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg…
He started out as a Democrat but turned Republican to run for mayor. He’s governed as a friend of labor, education, the environment and surplus budgets….
A year after 9/11, when Bloomberg raised property taxes rather than slash city services, the sclerotic right went into a war dance. Writing in the conservative City Journal, Steven Malanga accused Bloomberg of being “the defender of big government and the municipal workforce” and of committing “catastrophic errors” that would drive away businesses and rich people. The article was titled, “Bloomberg to City: Drop Dead.”
What the conservative wind-up dolls didn’t get is that taxes, wisely spent, can be an investment for the future. The devastating attacks had sent New York’s economy into a swoon, and sure, Bloomberg could have responded by laying off public workers who had kept the city’s soul together. He could have let things get shabbier.
But if the main qualification of a Presidential candidate is a willingness to raise taxes to pay for increased government spending, then what’s truly special about Michael Bloomberg? Aren’t all of the standard-issue Democrats seeking their party’s Presidential nomination promising to raise taxes to expand government as well?