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The Brian Lehrer Show

Liu's Year In Review

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Read a recap of this conversation at It's A Free Country»»

In 2009 John Liu was elected Comptroller of New York City and vowed to work for the taxpayers every day by overseeing the use of New York City funds. Comptroller Liu talks about his first year as on the job and reviews Mayor Bloomberg's budget.

Read More and Join The Conversation at It's A Free Country


WNYC News

NYC Economy Recovering But Deficits Loom for City

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New York City’s economy has recovered faster than the state and the nation, but larger than expected city deficits and the slowly recovering national economy could keep unemployment high for years to come.

According to city comptroller John Liu, businesses gained 74,000 jobs in the first 10 months of this year. Restaurants, retailers and health care companies accounted for the majority of the new jobs.

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Transportation Nation

So You're Thinking Of Starting An Infrastructure Bank...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

President Barack Obama speaks about infrastructure in Virginia. (Image:Pete Souza, via Wikimedia Commons)

(Matt Dellinger - Transportation Nation)  The GOP takeover of the House has reshuffled the cards for transportation policy. Already, Republicans are floating the idea of pulling back stimulus funds for infrastructure—particularly high-speed rail—and they’ve proposed a moratorium on earmarks, a practice routinely defended by outgoing House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN). Last week, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed a 15-cent hike in the gas tax. But will a new, more conservative Congress balk? It seems likely.

But there may be one reform on which the Obama Administration and the new House regime can agree: the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, or NIB for short.

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The Takeaway

Rep. Van Hollen, Lead Dems' Deficit Negotiator, Unhappy with Tax Deal

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In a press conference yesterday, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the current deal on tax cuts that has been reached between the White House and Republicans in Congress. If passed, the compromise would extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years, including those for the wealthiest households. It would also extend unemployment benefits for 13 more months and give businesses a major tax break. Economists say the deal would add $900 billion to the deficit over the next two years.

President Obama has already received strong opposition from members of his own party who believe the President is compromising too easily with Republicans. We talk with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Democratic leadership who has come out in opposition to the deal.

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The Takeaway

GOP, White House Reach Deal on Tax Cuts, Unemployment Benefits

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The White House and Senate Republicans reached a tentative agreement yesterday that would see a GOP priority, Bush-era tax cuts extended for rich and poor alike, accepted in return for a Democratic priority: extending unemployment benefits to help keep the economy moving. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich watched the deal in the making.

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The Takeaway

Are Depression-Era Services Now Bankrupting Recession-Era States?

Monday, December 06, 2010

In the discussion of our nation’s growing debt, there’s an issue that may be going largely unreported in the wash of discussion of the federal deficit. All across the country, smaller budgets — county, municipal and state — struggle to pay for underfunded civic services. Is it possible that the services we’ve come to depend on since the New Deal are, in fact, acting as an “architecture of debt?”

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The Takeaway

Alice Rivlin on Compromise for Deficit Reduction

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Presidential commission tasked with trying to find a way to stabilize and cut our deficit will vote tomorrow on its final recommendations. Theoretically, it would then go before Congress and President Obama for consideration.  The commission’s co-chairs, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, made waves earlier in the month by leaking their own controversial plan and encouraging members of the panel to adopt it. Yesterday, Bowles and Simpson brought a largely unchanged plan to the full panel.  Panel members then began indicating whether they’d vote for it.  

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The Takeaway

Rep. Jan Schakowsky Offers Alternative Deficit Plan

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Members of the President's deficit commission are debating how to vote on a controversial plan to reduce the nation's budget deficit. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) says she plans to reject the plan put forward by the commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff for President Clinton, and Republican former Senator Alan Simpson. Instead, she's offering an alternative plan which would sharply reduce spending at the Pentagon and raise corporate taxes, targeting windfall profits and excessive executive pay.

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It's A Free Country ®

Comments Roundup: Your Money Saving Tips for NYC

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WNYC

I've worked in several high schools where the heat is on so high during the winter (and spring and fall) that classroom windows must be left open or the air conditioners have to be turned on. How about turning down the heat?

- Mike in New York

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It's A Free Country ®

Deputy Mayor Asks and Tells: How Can New York Save Money?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WNYC

So, the city has one energy budget, but when people in a building are responsible for their own costs, they take better care of that building.

—Stephen Goldsmith, deputy mayor of operations for New York City on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

New York's New Budget

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last week Mayor Bloomberg announced significant cuts in his plan for New York City's budget. WNYC reporters Arun Venugopal and Cindy Rodriguez explain what's in the budget, and what's not.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg's Big Budget Cuts

Friday, November 19, 2010

More than 10,000 city jobs are on the chopping block if Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s revised budget plan is passed. The plan, released Thursday, is the latest sign of the toll the recession has taken on the city. And Bloomberg says this budget still wouldn’t go far enough.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Progressive Budget Cuts

Friday, November 19, 2010

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9), member of the president's deficit reduction committee, offers her plan for cutting the deficit.

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WNYC News

City To Cut More Than 10,000 Jobs

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg announced plans on Thursday to lay off thousands of city workers, in one of the most visible signs yet of the recession's toll. In presenting their annual November budget update, mayoral aides noted that a total of 6,201 city employees would be laid off in between the current and following fiscal year and that another 4,165 jobs would be lost through attrition.

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The Takeaway

Tough Cuts: Does $100 Billion in Military Spending Keep Us Safe?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

When lawmakers are looking at ways to balance the budget, the gargantuan amount of military and defense spending would seem an obvious choice. The Fiscal Commission has found nearly $100 billion in potential cutbacks within the military apparatus by 2015, which include reducing the size of the Navy, rethinking health care benefits for veterans and pulling troops out of bases in Europe and South Korea.

Another bipartisan group, the Debt Reduction Task Force, has gone even further. They released a report on Wednesday calling for a freeze of all military spending, and reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to 30,000 by the year 2013. If Congress approved all of these proposed defense cuts, what effect would it have on America and its ability to defend itself in the future?  

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The Takeaway

Tough Cuts: Do Farmers Need the Current $14 Billion in Subsidies?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In this economy, people know that every little bit counts when it comes to saving money. It is no different for the federal commission trying to reduce a $200 billion budget shortfall. They could save $14 billion dollars by 2015 if they cut the direct payments farmers receive under the 2008 Farm Bill — and if they eliminate the subsidy promises, in the event that prices for wheat, corn, soy and other commodities fall in the next few years. What effects would farmers and food shoppers see if these subsidies were to go away?

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The Takeaway

Tough Cuts: How $17 Billion in Foreign Aid Affects America

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The government is trying to find a way to balance a $200 billion shortfall in the federal budget, and they're looking at both big and small steps. One of the suggestions from the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform includes cutting the foreign aid budget in half by 2015. That would save around $17 billion — but what would be the ripple effects here at home?

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WNYC News

Comptroller Says City is Emerging from Recession

Friday, October 29, 2010

Despite the recession, New York City balanced its budget and even eked out a $5 million surplus. It helped that the City put aside nearly $3 billion last year to offset expected budget gaps for the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

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WQXR News

Paterson to Layoff 898 State Workers Before Year's End

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Governor David Paterson says 898 state workers will receive layoff notices, a move that has angered unions that didn't expect job losses before the end of the year. Paterson says the layoffs will be concentrated in several agencies, including the Departments of Corrections and Parks and the State Police.

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WNYC News

Pew Survey Gauges Public Opinion on NY Fiscal Policies

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New Yorkers are alarmed about the state's finances, and they'd rather cut spending than raise taxes to make up future budget shortfalls. Those findings are from a phone survey of more than one thousand New York residents by the Pew Center on the States. The survey was part of a broader look at public opinion in five states that are making tough money choices in a time of scarcity.

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