The Myth of Giuliani the Manager

Campaign myth #4762: Rudy Giuliani is a good manger

Fact: Giuliani is a poor fiscal manager

– Today’s Daily News headline story: “Poor Rudy – Cash crunch leaves Giuliani campaign aids without pay”.  Ok so he’s putting his remaining $7 million into Florida and a few aids “volunteered” to go without pay.  What will Rudy do with the Federal deficit the next President is bound to inherit from our current “conservative” administration?   By the way Rudy’s personal net worth is estimated by some to be between $30 and $60 million.

-While Rudy deserves some credit for controlling spending in his first term,  he left poor Mike Bloomberg with a $6 billion deficit. By the way – this wasn’t only due to 9/11, remember the economy was headed south long before 9/11 and City revenues along with it.  Tax-Hike-Mike’s dismal handling of the deficit will be the subject of another post on this blog.

Fact: Giuliani doesn’t set priorities well.

-In Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, Wayne Barrett goes on for chapters about Rudy’s turf wars with the Port Authority, his failure to prepare NYC for terrorist attack even after the first World Trade Center bombing, his inability to cut through bureaucracy to acquire new radios for the Fire Department… the list goes on.

-Meanwhile Rudy picked fights with anyone who couldn’t defend themselves such as cab drivers, street vendors, night clubs, African hair braiders….

Fact: Giuliani can’t manage his team

In Grand Illusion, Barrett also describes how Rudy failed to resolve the turf wars between the Police, Fire Department and Emergency Management which to a great degree led to many of the problems encountered on 9/11.

 This list just scratches the surface.  Take a look at what Jacob Weisberg said in this Slate post.

“This comparison doesn’t make the case for Bloomberg as president so much as it underscores what a scary place a Giuliani White House could be. President Rudy would give powerful speeches denouncing terrorism while assuming extraordinary wartime powers. He’d reject compromise with his antagonists and ignore the nuts and bolts of running a government. After a few years, he’d be on nonspeaking terms with much of his Cabinet, never mind his fellow world leaders. By the time he got done, he might make us appreciate George W. Bush.”

Fortunately Rudy’s chance seem to be dropping fast.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell who would be worse given the choice of Rudy and John McCain.

Of course that isn’t the only choice.  There is still a libertarian choice in the New York primary:  Ron Paul.

5 comments for “The Myth of Giuliani the Manager

  1. January 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Tax CUT? What a fraud! He rasied property taxes by nearly 20% and then claimed he cut taxes when he rolled back a little of that. When taxes are LOWER than when he took office overall – then he can claim a tax cut. As of now – he si still “Tax – Hike – Mike”.

  2. Bonnie
    January 21, 2008 at 1:04 am

    It appears he’s come around on the taxes. The Sun wrote: “Defying earlier expectations, the mayor proposed extending the 7% property tax cut he instituted last year, and sustaining a $400 property tax rebate for homeowners. Supporting a property tax hike could have opened him up to criticism in New York and across the country in the event of a presidential run.”

    in “Bloomberg Assails Those Who Embrace ‘Xenophobia'”
    http://www.nysun.com/article/69742

    What I wrote earlier today in response to that article:

    Stance on immigration: GOOD
    Extending tax cuts and rebates: GOOD

    Idea to require DNA fingerprinting for everyone who is arrested: BAD
    Gun-grabbing campaign: BAD

  3. January 14, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Thanks to RunMikeRun for his well written , though misguided, support of Mike Bloomberg. You make a few good points. I agree that Bloomberg has made some progress on the schools, but in almost every other aspect he fails miserably.

    One of the most important issues the next president will face is the economy. Bloomberg inherited a $6Billion deficit from Giuliani and then did exactly the wrong thing. He proposed, and mostly got, a %25 increase in property taxes. It’s well accepted that the single largest problem with the New York City budget is the structural deficit created by the rate of increase of salaries and benefits of public employees. Bloomberg himself acknowledges this on occasion. Public employees on average are paid better than equivalent private sector employees for lower productivity and their pensions are dramatically better. Yet Bloomberg balanced the budget on the backs of the taxpayer instead of addressing the real problem. This approach prolonged the recession, delayed job growth recovery and caused enormous pain and hardship at the lowest and middle layers of the work force.

    Now that we are looking at funding Bloomberg’s own deficits he refuses to take tax increases off the table indicating that he might sock the taxpayer AGAIN!. With a recession probable, we need tax cuts to reduce the drag on the economy and spending reductions. Bloomberg is exactly the wrong choice.

    Add subway searches, the smoking ban, congestion pricing and his support for theft of taxpayer property through eminent domain to the list of Bloomberg disasters.

    What do we know about Bloomberg and health care, or the war in Iraq. He’s a careful politician who doesn’t want to committ himself. When it come to tricky politics he could give Hillary lessons.

    Michael Bloomberg is a disaster as Mayor and will be a bigger disaster as President.

    Stay tuned for future posts on this topic.

    Ron

  4. January 13, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    But, I don’t want a man of action or a manager. I want a president who leaves us alone!

    There is no one I would trust more with the economy than Bloomberg. When he balances his personal checkbook, he manages a larger budget than almost every Governor in the country’s state budget.

    I don’t want a president who thinks he runs the economy.

    Everyone criticized Bloomberg in his first term for spending too much time at his vacation home in Bermuda. I was just sorry to see him come back.

  5. January 13, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    You support Ron Paul, I respect you for that. I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul. But Ron is a career politician with no management experience. Michael Bloomberg IS the self-made American man than Ron Paul would like us all to have the opportunity to become. Ron Paul is a legislator and brilliant philosopher with no executive management experience. Bloomberg is an executive manager, and a man of action.

    People far too often judge a candidate by going down a list of policy positions like a check list, while ignoring what the day to day role of the president really is.

    The fact is, presidents get to implement maybe a small fraction of the so-called campaign promises and policy positions they campaign on. A president’s term in office is most largely shaped by events of the day. And a president’s successes and failures in dealing with crisis that emerge define most president’s term in office much more so that any specific piece of legislation that gets passed on their clock.

    It is rare that you find a candidate that agrees with you on every single issue. But at the end of the day, the President is the executive manager of the world’s most powerful enterprise, the US government. I believe most voter’s underestimate the value of competence and management experience. What is most important to me is, do they have the competence and the experience to manage such an enterprise? Will they keep the economy strong? Will they make sound judgement in a crisis? Will they hire competent people, or just give valuable positions to unqualified individuals because they either have party connects or “owe” someone because of a campaign contribution?

    Don’t forget, unlike other men with wealth, Mike Bloomberg came from very humble upbringing. His father never made more than $11k a year in his life. Mike is the most scientifically and technologically savvy candidate running. He was a computer programmer with a degree in electrical engineering before going back to school for his Harvard MBA.

    His money buys him independence of a sort no other candidate can claim.

    As a New Yorker, I can attest to what an amazing job he has done as Mayor.

    In his management style, he applies the incentives of the business world to the problems of the public sector. Here is one small example:

    He did what everyone said could not be done- He brought all five boroughs of the New York public school system under the direct management of the mayor’s office, renegotiated the Teachers Union contracts to accept a base pay cut in exchange for merit based pay raises, acceptance of standardized testing of students to rate teachers’ performance and the ability to terminate teachers who did not perform. Part of the school budget is allocated based upon the each schools’ performance as well, the best performing schools receiving more funds. As a consequence, underperforming teachers are being weeded out of the system, competition has been introduced as teachers compete against each other for pay-raises and schools compete against each other for extra-funds. As a result high school academic scores in the city are up over 30% since he took office, and high school drop-out rates are down by 15%.

    He has applied incentives of this nature, as one does in the private sector, in many other areas of governance. The schools are but one example.

    Bloomberg is the real McCoy. He is the American dream, and he wants to help shape an America that will ensure future generations live in an America that allow for the opportunity to realize one’s potential the way it has for him.

    There is no one I would trust more with the economy than Bloomberg. When he balances his personal checkbook, he manages a larger budget than almost every Governor in the country’s state budget.

    When the economy is strong. When everyone has a job. People tend to be less concerned about the differences among us. When the economy is bad, and people are unemployed, everyone looks for someone to point the finger at, and politicians look for divisive wedge issues to distract their constituents from the real problems at hand.

    Ron Paul is a very gifted political philosopher, but I hope you will take a closer look at Bloomberg. He is a self-made man of action that knows how to deftly manage a large enterprise. If elected president, we will all live in and pass on a nation with more prosperity.

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