It didn’t take long for 2021 mayoral wannabe Comptroller Scott Stringer to lay down his big-spender marker. In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, Stringer made his case for “shovel-ready” projects to boost the city’s struggling economy.
He wants a burst of borrow-and-spend to jump-start capital projects put on hold by the pandemic. Make use of low interest rates and the city’s good credit rating, he urges.
In fact, it’s a play for the support of construction-trade unions — a key Democratic constituency. His proposal would put a lot of unemployed construction workers back to work, especially since private-sector work seems sure to contract.
Last month, the New York Building Congress, a construction trade association, warned that the pandemic led construction spending this year to fall $10 billion short of the $55 billion spent in 2019.
Hence Stringer’s push for the (near-bankrupt) city to borrow big — to win support for his mayoral campaign.
In the real world, the Office of Management and Budget has reportedly frozen capital projects thanks to the city’s precarious finances — a move a comptroller who wasn’t running for mayor would cheer.
You’ll need to do better than this, Scott.
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