Jim Sleeper's Nonsense on Rudy

In telling us that Rudy the megalamaniac should not be President, Jim Sleeper perpetuates the myth that Rudy was some kind of Super Mayor. Why must this myth persist? Sleeper writes:

He forced New York, that great capital of “root cause” explanations for every social problem, to get real about remedies that work, at least for now, in the world as we know it.

You see, before Rudy, New York was not "real about remedies that work." I have one question for Sleeper - what was Rudy's remedy for the public education system in New York City?

Sleeper is just making it up, perhaps to improve his "not a liberal" creds on the issue. He does his argument no favors.

The commenters in his thread eviscerate his nonsense:

Ellen said:

Then, it may be time to challenge the claim that Giuliani and his excuse the cops no matter what policies lowered the crime rate in New York.

The fact is that crime fell everywhere during his time in office -- and for a simple reason -- the cohort responsible for crime (18-25+ year olds) fell. And that's not even to mention the improvement in job opportunities made possible by the Clinton Boom.

TG said:

Not only that, but the NYC law enforcement reforms started and the crime rate started dropping during Dinkins' administration, not Giuliani's.

How come these pseudo-liberal gasbags never get the story right?

TG said:

Yup, Dinkins sure was an irresponsible extremist liberal all right. In addition to his police reforms, Dinkins turned a $1.8 billion budget deficit when he took office into a $200 million surplus when he left. So he left the city safer and in better fiscal shape than when he took office. Yet he, not Koch or Beame, gets blamed for all of NYCs problems. Wonder why that is?

Oh yeah, any, you know, specifics on the corruption issue? Doubt it, since you don't have a shred of actual evidence to back up any of your other claims.

Just why do you people have it in for Dinkins, anyway?

gqmartinez said:

Do you have any references to the budget shift under Dinkins? That is pretty amazing if true.

Wigmar1 said:

This took 27 sec, not including the formatting.

Dinkins became mayor with a $1.8 billion budget deficit when he entered office. He attempted to balance the budget and raised taxes. Although with high oil prices due to the Gulf War and an overall downturn in the economy this backfired. 300,000 private sector jobs were further lost, erasing the city’s tax base. His handling of the city's finances was criticized as being too beholden to the unions and other pressure groups that were vital to his election. Investment was at an all time low.

His integrity came under fire, as well as his efficacy. Answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes, Salon magazine later reported, Dinkins reasoned, "I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law."

In 1991, New York was unable to pay city employees. The Dinkins administration proposed unprecedented cuts in public services, $1 billion in tax increases and the elimination of 27,000 jobs. He cut education by $579 million, marked 10 homeless shelters for closing which was opposed by the city council. Just a year later however [in 1992, his next-to-last year- ed.], the city had a $200 million dollar surplus.


UPDATE: Everything else I read says Giuliani inherited a deficit from Dinkins. So things must have gone South for NYC in 1993, the year Giuliani was elected, but before he took office.

Here is the flavor: http://tinyurl.com/28sz8o

"New York City is heading for its most dangerous fiscal problems in nearly 20 years. And while this time there is no threat of bankruptcy . . ."

maryj said:

These are exactly what I have been thinking since the recent deification of Rudy.

Crime is multi-factorial. Conditions in most major cities improved during the nineties. Why? How much was attributable to the improved economy, demographics, the COPS program? These affected most of the country.

How much was attributable to the local politicians and their policies?

Has any reputable group studied this? This is of interest today, not just to give credit to politicians running on their record, but because we currently have rising violent crime rates in a supposedly improving economy. What is causing it now?

tbetz said:

New York's 1993 "State of Crisis" has been vastly overstated; and Giuliani's greatest successes were the result of work done by his predecessor (like the Lee Brown "Community Policing" strategy begun under David Dinkins' administration) and the dot-com boom feeding Wall Street and the New York City real-estate frenzy of the 90's.

Serious crime had already fallen by 16% during the last three years of the David Dinkins administration, and violent crime was 27% lower nationwide in 1998 than in 1993 when Giuliani first took office; the latter occurred for largely demographic and economic reasons, and owed more the the Clinton administration than the Giuliani administration.


drunky said:

It is true that serious crime was falling in every metropolitan city nationwide at the time Guiliani took office.

I just read "Freakonomics" where the author attributes most of this drop to Roe V. Wade in which millions who otherwise would be a high risk to become criminals were never born. Maybe this is the true reason for Guiliani's pro choice stance, but he would never admit it because that would completely destroy his chances of getting the Republican nomination.

The Maven said:

Just for the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that in terms of the City's overall economic health, Dinkins did not have to "weather the huge crash of 1987." Dinkins' mayoral term did not begin until January 1990, more than 26 months after the crash. When he took office, the Dow stood at 2753. After lingering in that vicinity for about a year (mostly due to the Bush I recession of 1990-91), the market began a fairly steady climb over his remaining three years in office to finish at the aforementioned 3754. That 36% gain during his term was nothing to sneeze at, though of course it paled with the run-up during Rudy's tenure.

TG said:

But he did have to weather the national recession of 1990-91 and a pretty lousy labor market for the whole of his term.

Just ridiculous nonsense from Sleeper on the Great Super Mayor.

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    Also (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:17:48 AM EST
    Crime dropped all across America during Rudy's tenure. I am surprised that he did not take credit for that as well.

    NYFD doesn't like 'America's mayor' (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Sailor on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:38:35 AM EST
    It's easy... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:39:13 AM EST
    to get "results" when you lack a compassionate bone in your body.

    Too many homeless on the streets?  Lock 'em up!

    Crime stats looking glum?  Lock up every turnstyle jumper and pot smoker you can find!  That will make the spread sheets look good!

    "Results" like that I can do without.

    Also (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM EST
    The police cooked the books regarding reporting and made reporting a crime kafkaesque. The most evil way was making it horribly complex for rape victims to report the crime. Typically they would report it to the precinct where it happened, only to be told that they had to report it to the precinct where they lived, only to be told that they had to report it in the precinct where it  happened......

    We could go on all day.... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:44:21 PM EST
    discussing the shady, wanna-be tyrant governing style of a Rudy Guiliani.

    If you want the trains to run on time at any cost a la Moussilini...he's your man.

    If you value truth, justice, and the American way...you best look elsewhere.


    Ha (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:03:38 PM EST
    Here is an oxymoron if I have ever seen one:

    "Firefighters for Rudy"

    This is more like it (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:59:05 PM EST
    Rudy Giuliani never fails to cast firefighters as his heroes, but the nation's largest firefighters union all but declared war on him yesterday...


    "Firefighters for Rudy" is a mockery of the bums rush treatment he gave to NYC Firefighers in the aftermath of 9/11.

    It is not going to fly, that is for sure.


    Wasn't he the one who decided (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 12:32:50 PM EST
    to put the NYC crisis response center exactly where the last major terrorist attack had taken place?

    Actually. . . (none / 0) (#9)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 09:33:13 PM EST
    I have one question for Sleeper - what was Rudy's remedy for the public education system in New York City?

    Giuliani's remedy for the public education system was mayoral control -- a good idea he was never able to attain because the State (Pataki, Bruno, Silver) hated him so much.  The current mayor (his name escapes me at the moment) did manage to get mayoral control and has introduced sweeping changes -- not to mention sweeping changes to the original sweeping changes and, soon, sweeping changes to those sweeping changes.