Manhattan Congestion Pricing: The Elitist Tax – By George J. Marlin
New York City’s economic elites enthusiastically support Mayor Bloomberg’s traffic congestion tax. Why? It will keep the “riff raff” out of their fashionable Manhattan neighborhoods. Who are New York’s “riff raff”? Outer Boro working stiffs who must use motorized vehicles to make their living.
This latest social engineering scheme of Manhattan’s “favored few” will go down because of the tax revolt brewing among New York’s “riff raff.” The evidence: the recent City Council vote on the congestion pricing home rule message.
Twenty members from Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island (18 Democrats/2 Republicans) voted against the measure. Political wags were shocked that 40 percent of the council’s membership stood up against the Mayor and Speaker Quinn. In fact, the vote on the resolution was the most closely contested in decades.
Further proof: Proponents are having trouble mustering enough votes from Albany’s overwhelming Democratic Assembly majority to pass the congestion tax.
The only organization with the guts to publicly oppose the pricing plan is the Conservative Party of New York. Mike Long, the state chairman, denounced Mayor Bloomberg’s “righteous program” and reminded legislators that “now is not the time to force those who must travel to Manhattan, below 60th Street, to be burdened with an additional tax when all other aspects in our daily lives are reeling with additional costs…. Congestion pricing, congestion mitigation, whatever legislators chose to call it … New Yorkers who will be forced to pay it, know it is simply another money grab that will not be able to produce enough to pay for what it promises, thereby forcing government to take even more money from us in the future.”
Chairman Long’s position is the correct one. And any Conservative Party endorsed state legislator who opposes it and sides with Manhattan elites, should be denied the party’s nomination in the November 2008 election.