MTA Stares Down Billion-Dollar Deficit as Liu and Weiner Mock Bridge Tolls
Congressman Anthony Weiner and John Liu, chair of the City Council Transportation Committee, competed this weekend for best populist sound bite. Said Liu: "East River bridge tolls get bandied about every time there is a fiscal crisis. The mayor tried to impose them during the dire fiscal straits in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and even then it went over like a lead balloon. This time it will sink equally fast -- to the bottom of the East River."
And here is Weiner's entry: "Tolls on the East River bridges are just congestion pricing by another name. It is a regressive tax on the middle class. It's a way to increase the traffic burden, and frankly it's simply unfair to residents outside of Manhattan."
Naturally, the pandering pols didn't have to go looking for microphones, as reporters also fanned out across the city for quotes from beseiged drivers and doomsaying business owners, who obliged by "blasting" those who would "drop the hammer on everyone" by "slapping" on the "wallet-busting" tolls.
As for funding alternatives, coverage included Liu's reference to an unspecified "broad-based revenue source." And Weiner? As usual, the congressman was all talk, no stick.