New York's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans Thursday for eliminating the jobs of 10,000 city workers and slashing spending by nearly $1.6 billion.
These drastic attacks on the city's workforce and vital services are to be carried out between now and the end of the next fiscal year, in June of 2012, with virtually every city agency affected.
Fire fighting, schools, aid to children, care for seniors, youth jobs, libraries, cultural institutions, parks and road repair are all on the chopping block.
Only the New York Police Department has been spared the ax based on the evident conclusion that with the sweeping attacks on social services and rising unemployment, policing the yawning social divide between the city's layer of billionaires and multi-millionaires and the millions living in poverty will be at a greater premium than ever.
The latest announcement of drastic austerity measures came in the city's annual November review of the financial plan for the current fiscal year and an updating of a four-year financial plan. It marks the ninth round of budget cuts since the Wall Street meltdown of 2008 blew a huge hole in the city's revenues. It includes the most severe cuts proposed since the onset of the crisis, reflecting in part the drying up of federal stimulus money at the end of this fiscal year.
The mayor's plan will slash $585 million from spending in the current fiscal year, and $1 billion from fiscal 2012, which begins next July.
The aim in inflicting what will be suffering for thousands of laid off workers and millions of other New Yorkers is to only partially close a $3.3 billion budget gap. Bloomberg, New York City's richest individual, could cover the entire deficit out of his own pocket and have $15 billion left over.
In a statement accompanying the latest cutback and layoff proposals, Bloomberg bragged of "never shying away making the hard decisions," by which he means deciding to place the full burden of the crisis created by his fellow Wall Street billionaires squarely on the backs of the working class and most impoverished sections of the population.