Can New York be saved?
The fundamental question is on the table thanks to Mayor Adams.
His warning that the asylum-seeking migrant throng “will destroy New York City” makes this a five-alarm moment.
Adams is late to the party with his realization, which should have been obvious the moment President Biden threw open the southern border and the first batches of illegal crossers landed in Manhattan.
Why the mayor hesitated to sound the big alarm until 110,000 arrived here, with 60,000 living at taxpayer expense, is beyond comprehension.
What took him so damn long?
Part of the answer is that Adams is notoriously inconsistent and has been on both sides of the migrant fence.
He was initially boastful about welcoming them to his sanctuary city and helped arrange transportation for some with the Democratic mayor of El Paso, Texas, even as he denounced the Republican governor of Texas as a racist for sending bus caravans to New York (at the Port Authority, right) and other cities with black mayors.
Suburban warfare fail
To complete the circle of double talk, Adams tried exporting buses full of migrants to the suburbs, where most were turned back.
Leaders there don’t want any part of New York’s disaster.
As for his day job, City Hall’s role seems to consist mostly of opening new sites — the latest count is more than 200 — to accommodate all new arrivals.
In addition to the exorbitant cost of taking over entire hotels and outfitting other large buildings, there is food, health care, transportation, education — all of which leads to his estimate that the tab will hit an astonishing $12 billion over three years.
On Saturday, the mayor announced cuts to other agencies, saying they must trim their spending by 5% to offset the ballooning migrant costs.
His failures aside, Adams is spot on with his warning about the situation and those who care about New York should be grateful for his candor, belated though it is.
Accusations from the left that he is fear-mongering are technically correct, but miss the point.
Fear is the right reaction to a problem of this magnitude.
The staggering cost means taxpayers will get far less bang for their bucks.
Tax hikes are inevitable, giving more fuel to the exodus of fed-up New Yorkers fleeing to lower-cost, safer and saner destinations.
While it is tempting to give up on Adams, he still has more than two years left in his term to right the ship. Besides, no credible alternative has stepped forward with a plan.
Any would-be saviors better also have a plan to fix everything else, too, because the city was teetering even before those first migrant buses got here.
Name a topic and you’ve named a major problem.
Crime, public disorder, failing schools, taxes, transportation, cost of living, utilities, infrastructure — the city is drowning.
Those with any knowledge of history will say it faced a death rattle before and leaders emerged to guide it to greener pastures.
And it’s true that in the last 50 years, Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg did just that, even though none was considered a likely hero.
Even the seemingly unbearable horrors of 9/11 were overcome.
But two essential ingredients from those days are missing now.
One is a viable two-party system and the other is a decisive number of centrist, swing voters.
Republican Lee Zeldin’s failed campaign for governor last year helped the GOP pick up enough seats to provide a slim House majority, but he scored just 30% of the vote in the five boroughs, an indication of why Republicans are not a factor in day-to-day governance.
Dems also hold every statewide elective office and control the leadership of all major cities.
They have veto-proof majorities in the City Council and Legislature.
In fact, New York is such a one-party hot house that the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general waded into national politics by filing tendentious charges against Donald Trump.
Perhaps most important, the council and both chambers in Albany are controlled not just by Democrats, but by the party’s radical left wing.
To survive, more moderate Dems, including Adams and Gov. Hochul, have mostly surrendered to the radicals’ agenda, meaning the center of political gravity has shifted significantly left in the last 20 years.
To be sure, Koch was a Dem, but as he liked to say, “a liberal with sanity.”
Giuliani and Bloomberg were Republicans, and given the lopsided count of registered voters and the far-left’s dominance, it’s unlikely either man could be elected today.
Leaders who can’t lead
The tilted landscape gives Adams and Hochul very short policy leashes and neither has been consistently able to set the agenda.
It’s also true that they have not figured out how to leverage the power they have, including how to get the attention of a Democratic White House about the migrant catastrophe.
If a Republican president harmed New York by opening the border and stood silent as millions poured across, they would have raged on endlessly and rallied voters to punish the president’s party.
But with a president of their own party, they have been loyal to a fault, complaining only because Washington won’t chip in enough money to pay for the crisis it created.
Neither demands that Biden secure the border.
Even worse, the mayor and governor united around the terrible idea of demanding rapid work permits for the migrants, and pledge to help them find permanent housing.
Both initiatives, if they were to succeed, would make New York even more of an attractive destination for illegal crossers, thus exacerbating the problems Adams and Hochul say they want to solve.
Times like this add to the overwhelming evidence we are being ruled by amateurs, and create serious doubts that New York can be saved.
To be clear, the city will outlast Adams and Hochul because most people have nowhere else to go or can’t afford to leave.
But the pols’ record so far shows that decline, decline and more decline will be their damning legacy.
All That’s Fit To Spin In NY Times
The next time you hear someone spout nonsense, be patient.
Chances are they get their misinformation from The New York Times.
Consider two recent front-page headlines.
First, “G.O.P. Blueprint for ’25: Gutting Climate Progress.”
See, all Republicans want dirty air and water.
Then this: “Appeals Court Rules White House Overstepped 1st Amendment on Social Media.”
Saying “Overstepped” is a too-nice way to say the White House violated the First Amendment by pushing social media outlets to restrict free speech by COVID dissenters.
Fair and balanced?
Funny Menendez Money
Reader Joe Alloy smells a rat, or two.
“The new wife of NJ Sen. Bob Menendez cashes in $400,000 worth of gold bars just three years after she faced foreclosure. Silly Menendez, who makes $174,00 a year, apparently didn’t discuss how to launder the money with the Biden family.”
“But have no fears, fellow Americans. The FBI is on the case.”