Category Archives: Politics

Politically incorrect opionions on New York City Politics, New York State Politics and Politics in the United States of America.

$1 for MetroCards?!!!

MetroCard
$1 if you want a new MetroCard??

 The Mass Transit Authority, of course, is in an $800 million dollar deficit. Things like this tend to happen when you spend a few hundred million on security cameras that don’t work.

In an ingenious way to close the budget gap the MTA is proposing a $1 fee be charged for the purchase of MetroCards. In order to use public transportation in NYC you need a MetroCard. Of course it’s unclear if this $1 fee would be charged only on new MetroCards.

Another idea from the “brain” trust at the MTA also includes putting a cap on unlimited ride MetroCards. Is it just me or does the term unlimited mean no limit? If there is a limit on the amount of rides one can take when using an unlimited ride MetroCard than the card really isn’t unlimited. Maybe they can change the name of the card to the limited unlimited MetroCard.

 So in addition to the decreased service, we will have a fare increase coming and additionally may have to pay $1 in order to obtain the card which we need to use public transportation. Yet another example of increased expenditures in the great City of New York…..

$11 for a Pack of Smokes in NYC!

In an effort to close the budget deficit a pack of cancer sticks will now cost an average of $11 a pack in New York City.

Yeah, I know, smoking is bad for you, causes cancer (hence the term cancer stick) and is no longer socially acceptable. However, $11 a pack is just insane. Granted I am a smoker but should it really cost me that much to kill myself?

You have to love the New York City way. Tax people to death; increase the cost of service while cutting back on service. Granted there will be people who quit due to cost but there will also be many who will continue to smoke while bitching and moaning about the cost. Those people will continue to “cough up the money.”

I wonder if the geniuses in Albany took into consideration approximately how many people would quit smoking due to the increase and what that would mean to the tax revenue?

New York Budget Mess – Tax Baby Tax

The City and State of New York, in hopes of closing a $9.2 billion budget gap are proposing the following;

1. Tax alcohol – Don’t worry it will only cost about $.10 more for a beer.
2. Remember the Soda Tax? – $.01 and ounce of sugary soda or really $.12 a can.
3. The $10 pack of cigs? Although a pack of smokes now costs $10 in New York City, should this budget proposal pass a pack of cigarettes will cost $11. $3.75 in taxes on cigarettes will be the new national high. Note to self, stop smoking cigs and start smoking weed. It would be cheaper.
4. Mortgage recording fees – The housing market already sucks so charge the people who can actually afford a house an extra $.20 per $1,000 of the mortgage value. So a mortgage for $300,000 will now cost an extra $60.
5. $100 increase on new vehicle document fees – Don’t worry it will only be on select models that have yet to be determined.

Should the above “proposals” be implemented it should only leave the state scrambling to find another $8.5 billion dollars. In an effort to run for public office in the City or State of New York I will propose the following in order to get the support of the Democrats and Republicans alike;

1. Tax shoes and sneakers $1 a pair – New Yorkers walk everywhere and why should we leave all that money on the feet of New Yorkers?
2. Raise sales tax – $10% sounds about right until we realize it won’t be enough and raise it to 15%.
3. Charge $.25 to call 311 – I’m running for office, I don’t have to explain!
4. Charge $1 to enter Public Libraries – Reading is not only fundamental but comes with a price.

The above is only a few things this politician in training can implement. I can go on but fear a rival may catch wind of my inner thoughts and use them against me. Until next time………

NYC Charter Schools Equals Public School Elimination

A Charter Schools is simply a school of choice. Parents choose the Charter School that has a curriculum that they feel would be good for the child and the teachers and administration have more say than provided in traditional public school. I feel that educational options are always a good thing but in the City of New York, charter schools are being utilized as an attempt to take over the entire NYC public school system.

NYC has been closing “failing schools” at an alarming rate. “Failing schools” are considered failing schools based upon nothing more than test scores and in the case of high school’s graduation rates. However, funding or lack thereof, individualized student performance; attendance and parental involvement are ignored.

Charter Schools provides New York City with the ability to treat Charter School teachers as a regular private company employee. Why is this important? New York is an at will employment state. An employer can fire an employee at any time with or without cause as the employee also has the ability to quit at anytime with or without notice. A teacher in a Charter School is not a member of the United Federation of Teachers and as a result can be terminated by administration at anytime whereas a public school teacher as a member of the United Federation of Teachers cannot.

It’s no secret that Charter Schools in most cases share space with public schools and in the event a public school is closed as a failing school a new public school will not be created. Rather the building will be given to a Charter School or divided amongst different Charter Schools. But as union members, New York City teachers cannot be fired right? Wrong, in the event a fiscal emergency is declared the City of New York can fire teachers. As of the writing of this blog post, the city is preparing to eliminate 8,500 teachers. Where will these teachers go as the City of New York will not be hiring public school teachers? Oh yeah, Charter Schools will be hiring.

Now let’s take it a step further. Failing schools are failing schools more often than not due to special needs students, students that do not attend and students whose parents are not actively involved in the education of their children. Where are these students going to go? They’ll simply be enrolled at performing schools where these students will potentially turn the performing schools into a non- performing aka “failing schools.” The school is failing and now needs to be closed but that’s okay, the city will just open a charter school in it’s place.

This will of course not happen overnight but the ball is in motion, The city attempted to close 5 failing schools in favor of Charter Schools but the parents and teachers of those communities fought the decision and won. The schools will remain open but for how long?

I like like Charter Schools and feel that they are a valuable alternative to both public and private schools. However, Charter Schools need to occupy their own space, construct their own buildings and stay separate and apart from public schools. Charter Schools should remain an alternative and not a replacement . The city of New York of course prefers Charter Schools as it gives them what they want. Complete and total control over the educational system of the City of New York with the added benefit of doing what they’ve always wanted to do; Eliminate the United Federation of Teachers and break the union.

Merit Pay for Teachers in New York City

For those of you not familiar with the term merit pay, it’s simply a way for teachers to receive financial incentive for students excelling in their educational studies. So what exactly is the issue? Don’t private and public companies alike provide financial incentives to their employees for a job well done? Providing financial incentives for a job well done works just fine in most cases, but would be a disaster and not fair for teachers in the New York City School system.

So why is it that merit pay does not work and should not be implemented in the New York City school system? First, the City of New York would like to base merit pay solely on the ability of the students to pass the year end city and state exams. Makes sense in that the year end exams are supposed to gauge whether the teacher did his or her job. However, the year end exams are meant to show whether the student is now currently on grade level. So what’s the problem? The city does now want to take into account if the child started on grade level to begin with. For example, if a child beginning 3rd grade is currently reading on a 1st grade level and fails the 3rd grade exam it does not mean the teacher did not do his or her job. Technically the teacher would have needed to reinforce all material of the 1st grade level, get the child to read on a 2nd grade level, reinforce that material and then begin teaching the child 3rd grade material. Yes the student may have failed the year end reading examinations but can also mean that the teacher simply ran out of time.

Second, if a child enters third grade on a 1st grade reading level it does not mean the 1st and 2nd grade teachers failed to do his or her job. Teachers can only teach those who are willing to be taught. If a child doesn’t comes to class, doodles in his or her books and does not complete homework assignments, is that truly the fault of the teacher? Not in my opinion. It’s the fault of the child’s parent(s). If a teacher writes a letter home, makes phone calls to the students home and receives no response from the parent what is the teacher to do? Should the teacher also raise the child and make home visits? A teacher’s job is to teach and a parent’s job is to raise their children. If a parent is not taking an active role in their children’s education and chooses to ignore the teacher then why should the teacher be held accountable for the educational performance of that child?

Third, teachers in higher income areas whose students have actively involved parents will have more students that pass the year end city and state examinations. The teachers in those schools will receive merit pay while the teachers in lower income areas that have little to no parental involvement will not. This will lead to teachers trying to transfer from their schools to “higher performing” schools. Of course, most teachers would not be able to transfer and will continue their careers working twice as hard while continuing to receive less pay. Technically if you are working twice as hard as someone shouldn’t you be compensated more for your work?

I’m in favor for people receiving additional compensation for a job well done but there is currently no effective way for merit pay to be given to teachers of New York City. There are too many variables that need to be taken into consideration and accounted for that is separate and independent of test scores and raw data. Until the City of New York can effectively gauge and grade each student’s parent on their involvement or non involvement in the education of their child merit pay will never work.

Obamacare – It’s About Time

Obamacare is here and I can’t believe the gloom and doom being reported in the papers, news and on blogs all over the internet. Democrats have been threatened, have bricks thrown through their office windows and gas lines cut.

The truth of the matter is Obamacare is not the end of the world. It’s a step in the right direction. The fact of the matter is the United States is the only industrialized nation not to provide health care to it’s citizens. As citizens of the United States of America our tax dollars are used for such things as public housing, education, food stamps, and welfare. Tax dollars are used to assist those who are less fortunate who are in need of the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing. So what is the fuss over providing Americans with the necessity of health care?

There are countless people who have gone from being in good financial shape to financial ruin simply because they became ill. Those who were in good financial shape ho had health insurance that became ill and lost everything. I 100% agree with President Obama that no person in the United States of America should go broke because they became sick.

Insurance companies drop coverage on those who were paying their premiums only to drop the person from coverage because of illness. If you became sick and dropped from coverage you would not be able to obtain coverage from another carrier as you would have a pre-existing condition. Health insurance companies profited to the tune of $22 billion dollars last year.

Is it morally right to profit from the health and sickness of people? I don’t think so. Requiring insurance companies to spend 80% of the money they receive in premiums be used for the actual payment of medical expenses is something that I’m also in 100% agreement with.
Social Security and Medicare was supposed to bankrupt the country and mark the beginning of socialism.

Obamacare is something that should have been done long ago. However, even with Obamacare the United States will still remain as the only industrialized country that does not provide health care to it’s citizens.

New York Soda Tax!

Once again New York State is proposing a New York soda tax, courtesy of the genius Governor Paterson and backed by Mayor Bloomberg. Of course the tax is meant to fight obesity.  A New York soda tax to fight obesity? Yes a New York soda tax! So how does New York State try to plug a looming $9 billion dollar deficit? “We can make a New York state soda tax and disguise it as a fight against obesity.”

So what is the proposed New York soda tax? The proposed New York soda tax is a tax of $.01 per each ounce of soda. The estimated tax revenue to the state would be approximately $1 billion dollars. This is a bullshit tax and there is no way that it should pass! To the anti soda people of the world, if you don’t like it don’t drink it. Why in the hell should I have to pay an extra $.12 cents for a can of soda? I’m not obese and I’m sure that soda consumption is not the main cause for obesity to begin with.

I guess New Yorkers should pass on the soda and drink bottled water. Oh yeah, New York recently began charging a $.05 cent deposit for recycling to combat littering. Of course the real reason for the $.05 deposit was to yet again increase revenue. Okay screw the bottled water just drink from the tap. Sure, but that will cost you as well.

So the answer for the incompetent handling of New York’s money is to pass a New York soda tax? If it passes the state just has to figure out how to increase revenue by another $8 billion dollars. So here are a few new ideas for the geniuses in Albany that can be disguised as a fight against obesity;

1. New York tax on hamburgers! – That’s right! Do you love a thick, fat juicy hamburger with everything? Not a problem, you only have to pay an extra $.02 per hamburger purchased at a fast food joint. Think of the possibilities, you could tax french fries as well.

2. New York tax on chips! Love a bag of chips from time to time? Keep eating them as it will only cost you an extra $.02 per ounce of chips.

3. New York tax on hot dogs! Do you like a nice dirty water dog from time to time? Just pay a tax of $.02 on hot dogs.

The New York soda tax has nothing to do with fighting obesity. It’s nothing more than a poorly disguised tax to increase revenue! I hope this does not actually become law. It will just create an opening to begin taxing everything and anything that can be “traced” to obesity.  Here’s an idea for Albany, you can start by cutting your salaries! MORONS!