Monday, May 04, 2009

That Wascally Wavitch

Mayor-for-life Michael Bloomberg is clearly facing budget problems. Therefore, like any manager, he has to establish priorities. How can he raise money and cut spending? It's simplicity itself.

First of all, there have to be new taxes. Some suggest taxing the wealthy, but Mayor Bloomberg, being the wealthiest person in the city, well knows that wealthy people don't care for taxes. Therefore, he's raising the sales tax, so that those "lucky duckies" who makes $12,000 a year can carry the load, thus saving the poor rich people from too much strain.

And naturally, there will be cuts in personnel, as working people don't mind being unemployed at all. However, the police, firefighters and teachers will be exempt from such cuts. Rather than firing teachers, outgoing teachers will simply not be replaced, which part-time UFT President Randi Weingarten calls "thoughtful and responsible." After all, Ms. Weingarten, who neither teaches classes nor has kids in public schools, doesn't have to deal firsthand with the inevitable rise in class sizes that will arise from such a boneheaded move.

But the mayor has not cut important programs like the cloak and dagger Diane Ravitch watch, which compiles dossiers on the dangerous Ms. Ravitch, who dares to not only read the info put forth by the Tweedies, but to examine it as well. This has resulted in countless embarrassments for Mayor Mike and the gang, as they're accustomed to simply saying whatever the hell they feel like and having it reported as gospel by the NY Post and US Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

But alas, Ms. Ravitch not only continues to read and report on this stuff, but she does so in highly inconvenient venues like The New York Times. When things like this happens, the Chancellor himself has to take valuable time from gala luncheons and post a response. Naturally, the city pays someone to write something up. But then that goshdarn Ravitch actually reads what they wrote, and responds to it.

So there have to be priorities. Clearly someone needs to spend a half-mil to buy off this guy, and a half-mil to buy off that guy. But in the end, you cannot cut corners when sliming your critics. After all, ineffectual though the attacks may be, as long as they're uncritically reported by the local tabloids, what difference does it really make?

Thanks to David Bellel
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