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Letters to the Editor — May 1, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — May 1, 2021

The Issue: President Biden’s latest proposed $1.8 trillion “American Families” tax-and-spending package.

Almost every dollar in President Biden’s $1.8 trill­ion spending plan is meant to do one thing: Keep America under the thumb of Big Government (“Dough Biden,” April 29).

President Ronald Reagan said it best: What are the nine scariest words in the English language? “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Truer words were never spoken.

High taxes will send more wealthy individuals and companies running to a place where they are free to donate when they want and are not forced to under the command of the Biden administration.

This pipe dream is just that — a wisp of “woke” behavior that gnaws at the prosperous growth generated by President Donald Trump and the previous political agendas.

Doc Ludemann

Bridgeport, Conn.

Biden’s plans do come with a huge price tag, but his vision is to make America better. And everything has a price tag. Nothing is free in life.

The Republicans are whining that his spending is unrealistic, but these are the same Republicans who had no problem with Trump’s tax cuts for rich people.

Unlike his predecessor, Biden is attempting to do positive things for America, not for himself.

The Republican Party should give Biden a chance to achieve his goals.

Kreg Ramone

Manhattan

I see much surprise expressed that Biden is not the kindly gentleman of moderate political thinking that he appeared to be in his campaign for the presidency.

But surprise, surprise: He has proposed higher taxes, more spending and more regulation, Israel has become the enemy and we work instead with Iran. Give me a break.

Why do you think we wanted President Donald Trump to stay in office? Because he was working for the American people, not against them, as Biden is doing.

Trump was already starting to narrow the wealth gap. We didn’t need huge government programs to do it.

Angela Lennox-Kay

Hackettstown, NJ

What is The Post’s point about the dollars that are finally going to real people who will truly benefit (“Spendapalooza,” Editorial, April 29)?

Is The Post opposed to funding a variety of educational programs so kids can get a reasonable start in life? Are you pleased with all the debt college kids are trying to pay back, which affects their career start?

Biden’s lavish programs are designed so that all who need help will get it — including, and maybe especially, those who opt for programs that will give them the technical skills, without requiring them to bear the cost of four or more years of college.

I suppose it is a reckless concept to provide essential programs to those who have not been given a chance before.

If Biden’s programs are not the most critical way the government should incur debt, what are you proposing as an alternative — continued tax cuts? Or do you still believe in Reagan’s “trickle down” economics?

A little support from The Post might be a nice boost for the programs. Try it.

Richard Glehan

Danbury, Conn.

Excuse me, Mr President: While you are doling out money, how about a little extra for ­Social Security?

For years and years I paid into the system. And now, if we are lucky, which we usually are not, we’ll maybe get a $25-a-month increase. That does not even cover my cat food for a month.

Biden wants to provide affordable, home-based care for aging relatives and those with disabilities. One way to help would be to increase our Social Security; $25 a month is not even a pittance for those who paid into the system.

Erica Sloane

New Rochelle

If, as Biden says, the economy is roaring back, then why do we need trillions of dollars in new spending to stimulate the economy?

This reckless spending will only fuel inflation, the negative effects of which will fall most heavily on the poor and retirees.

Kenneth Fitzgerald

Hicksville

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

Expert rates the winners and losers of first televised NYC mayoral debate

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Expert rates the winners and losers of first televised NYC mayoral debate

Last night’s mayoral debate was, if nothing else, a good forum for some of​ ​the candidates who many voters haven’t had much chance to get to know.

That​ ​meant it was particularly good for Kathryn Garcia and Ray McGuire who were​ ​able to get across the who, what, where and how of where exactly they stand.

Maya Wiley, wasn’t at her finest. As a TV veteran, she should have known​ ​better and instead broke all the rules by acting as though the rules didn’t apply to her. She ran over her time, wouldn’t stop talking when the moderator asked her to, and interrupted other speakers and overall showed a breathtaking lack of respect for the process.

Scott S​​tringer? He was classic Scott Stringer, the guy who always seems to​ ​need a carton of Red Bull and who, aside from a couple of good lines, was as​ ​unemotional as your tax attorney. That’s great for the city’s fiscal watchdog, but I​ ​just don’t think this comes across well when the public is looking for a strong​ ​presence.

And there was Andrew Yang once again trying the election trick that​ ​knocked him out of the presidential race: The offer of a thousand bucks to​ ​everyone who believes that Andrew Yang will give them a thousand bucks. 

Again.​ ​Been there, done that. 

He was particularly weak in answering to the fact that he’s never even voted for a mayoral candidate or a citywide referendum.

Eric Adams owned, as expected, the public safety issue. His lack of energy​ ​however was somewhat surprising for the candidate who knows the streets, the​ ​racial situation and the problems with the police so well.​ ​

The couple of exchanges he with Wiley and Dianne Morales were too polite,​ ​too softball, when he should have given as good as he got.​ ​

And speaking of Morales, she definitely has some important ideas on racial​ ​inequality and homelessness, but I’m not convinced that she came close to​ ​explaining how we’re supposed to pay for it with a city heading to an estimated​ ​$3 billion budget deficit in 2022-23.

Shaun Donovan, who seemed to start every sentence with “When I was in​ ​the Obama administration…” or “When I was City Housing Commissioner,” was​ ​unnecessarily repetitive. OK, we got the idea, but repetition doesn’t make for an​ ​interesting or even informative debate tactic.​ 

​Bottom line? As in most first debates, nothing much will have changed. No​ ​moments that blew anyone away. Probably the undecided needles won’t move too much.

Next time? Fire the media trainers and be yourselves, because what we saw sure won’t be what we get.

Sid Davidoff is Founding Partner of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, a New York-based law and public affairs firm, and former aide to New York Mayor John Lindsay.

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Opinion

Saturday’s Times Square shooting may mark a crossroads for NYC

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Saturday’s Times Square shooting may mark a crossroads for NYC

Last year in New York City, murders rose 45 percent and shootings 97 percent, numbers that have continued to rise in 2021. But New Yorkers don’t need statistics to understand that the city’s descent into chaos is accelerating. Saturday’s brazen shooting in Times Square — in which three innocent bystanders were shot, including a 4-year-old girl — may well mark a crossroads.

During New York’s bad old days, the Crossroads of the World and its pornographic theaters attracted “an unsavory and increasingly criminal crowd,” as William J. Stern, former head of the Urban Development Corporation, observed. “By the eighties, things got worse still, with an amazing 2,300 crimes on the block in 1984 alone, 20 percent of them serious felonies such as murder or rape,” he noted. Times Square’s situation suggested a city spinning out of control.

The condition of Times Square today similarly reveals the city’s social, moral and civic health. The president of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, understands this. In 2016, he explained that “the area then — and has always been — representative of what was working or not working in New York City as a whole. . . . Throughout New York City, crime was a huge issue that was making people stay away, and . . . that overshadowed everything else.” Thus, he reasoned, “Times Square was this symbol of whether the government had either the will or the capacity to make a city safe.”

Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s commitment to tame Times Square helped Gotham restore civic normalcy. Giuliani brought Disney in to take over and renovate the New Amsterdam Theatre, which “led to the resurrection of 42nd Street and Times Square,” in the words of The New York Times.

Giuliani also targeted smut shops for legal assault in court and had his NYPD proactively arrest quality-of-life offenders: drug dealers, junkies, pimps, prostitutes, hustlers, thieves and con artists. What followed was the revitalization of Times Square — and New York’s rebirth as the safest big city in America.

New York’s reversal of fortune is no accident. Mayor Bill de Blasio cites the pandemic and closed schools as excuses for the rise in violent crime. He conveniently overlooks four culprits: catch-and-release bail reform; the abandoning of broken-windows policing; the elimination of plainclothes anti-crime units that spent their nights hunting illegal gun carriers; and the movement to “defund” the police.

Proactive police officers have no incentive to respond to non-emergency crimes when the mayor has told them to stand down, when they know perps will be swiftly released and when they worry their faces could be the next ones plastered on screens across the country if an arrest goes wrong.

Which brings us back to Saturday’s shooting. We should be grateful for the heroic police officers who responded, including Alyssa Vogel, who ran nonstop with the 4-year-old victim to the ambulance. The alleged shooter was identified as Farrakhan Muhammad, a 31-year-old CD-pushing pest with a long arrest record who intended to shoot his brother.

When New York City had a quality-of-life policing regime, CD peddlers who crossed the line from protected First Amendment activity to misdemeanor “aggravated harassment” were routinely arrested and removed from Times Square and possibly locked away. But we live in a different city now.

In 1975, the Council for Public Safety issued an infamous pamphlet titled: “Welcome to Fear City: A Survival Guide for Visitors to the City of New York.” It advised tourists, among other things, to stay off the streets after 6 p.m., protect their property and safeguard their handbags and “never ride the subway for any reason whatsoever.”

The city is still better off than in 1975 — but that’s far from the standard to which a great city should aspire. De Blasio has assured New Yorkers that “we’re not going back to the bad old days when there was so much violence in this city.” Three innocents shot in Times Square over the weekend might have a different view.

Craig Trainor is a criminal-defense and civil-rights attorney in New York. Adapted from City Journal.

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Opinion

President Biden’s charter-school dis

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President Biden’s charter-school dis

In a fresh sign of teacher-union sway over President Joe Biden, this is the first Charter School Week in 30 years not to be marked by a presidential proclamation.

That’s right: Every president going back to Bill Clinton saw fit to recognize these alternative public schools and the work they do in uplifting poor and minority students across the nation. And Biden’s old boss, President Barack Obama, was instrumental in supporting the growth of charters, even shooting down bogus teacher-union attacks.

Charters are laboratories of innovation that operate largely without union interference; their successes regularly show up the failure of union-dominated schools, especially in high-poverty minority neighborhoods. That’s why teachers’ unions despise them. But what’s Biden’s excuse?

Well, American Federation of Teachers leader Randi Weingarten and National Education Association head Becky Pringle were among the Biden administration’s first and most frequent White House guests. And pressure from the top is the only explanation for how Weingarten was able to literally dictate language to the Centers for Disease Control for its “scientific” guidance on school reopenings.

In short, this president stands with his teacher-union allies against the principles of Barack Obama, the best interests of children and even good public-health policy amid the pandemic.

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