Washington Beat: Bloomberg Blasts How Obama, Congress Have Handled The Economy
Speaking at the Washington Economic Club on Wednesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a stinging rebuke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the handling of the country's faltering economy. NY1's Washington reporter Erin Billups filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
While New York City has climbed its way out of the rubble left by the 2008 financial collapse, the country is still struggling. New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks the problem is Washington.
“Both parties, and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, have let us down," Bloomberg said at the Washington Economic Club on Wednesday. "They have focused on generating headlines in the media, rather than generating head count in the workplace."
Bloomberg told the audience he and other local officials across the country have had to navigate their way through the economic recovery with no help from a highly polarized, partisan Washington. The result, he said, is a middle class that is under siege.
"It is a problem that many cities, unlike Washington, we are trying to solve, yet Washington is tying one hand behind our backs," the mayor said.
Bloomberg said infrastructure projects should not equal a jobs plan. He pointed to a lack of leadership from the White House in dealing with Congress, which often loads up legislation with unnecessary add-ons to curry favor in their districts.
"What the president should be doing is bringing a bill down and then cajoling, bribing, threatening, kissing, whatever it takes, modifying at the edges, to get that piece of legislation passed," said Bloomberg.
But the mayor's criticisms were not just for the political left. He also attacked Republicans' fixation on extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
“You show me a business person who cares about his federal tax rate more than his customers, I will show you Darwin at work," said the mayor.
When asked whether he plans to stay involved in public policy after his third term ends, Bloomberg said he has not thought about it yet.
Even so, those at the Wednesday luncheon gave the mayor another option.
Washington Economic Club President David Rubenstein joked, "Would you consider moving to Washington and running for mayor here?" which drew loud applause.
Bloomberg immediately quipped, "I suspect, David, that all the votes that I would get are here at this lunch."