Thursday, December 30, 2010

How a Texan Republican Would Handle Things

Rick Perry. Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2010.

The author writes that being Texas Governor is the job he most wants, so he presumably would less prefer being President. He believes out nation needs to change its political course. He believes in a nation whose people have faith, take responsibility for their own actions, and are self-reliant. He believes the Federal government, which in one year spends $3.7 trillion or $11,600 per person, Is too large and with 4,500 criminal laws and 103,000 pages of regulations, too complex.

This book “Fed Up!” shows his belief that Americans are overtaxes, overregulated, too restricted in what guns they can buy and how much salt they can use, and what of which doctor than can be a patient. He is upset comedian Stephen Colbert was allowed to testify before Congress. He opposes the stimulus spending plan, the auto bailout, propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing even any illegal immigrant to enter, and letting judges decide when matters such as when life begins and if the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property.

Perry strongly supports state governments for protecting our freedoms from becoming one national government that he argues would then dictate how we live. States are “laboratories of democracy” where good ideas that work can then be tried elsewhere. Perry sees limiting lawsuits as an example of which he supports and believes more states should try.

Perry is upset that the 16th Amendment creating the Federal income tax was meant to tax the income of only the 3% to 5% of the nation’s highest wage earners. Now it takes half the people and that the rates have increased from a 7% to 11% range to today’s 10% to 35% range.

Perry consider the 17th amendment creating public election of Senators, instead of allowing state legislatures to determine how to select Senators, a process that hurt state governments that moved the nation towards a centralized government. Perry argues that Senators should approve more Federal government spending because they are less accountable to a voting public than when state legislatures decided their fates.

Perry notes the national debt is $13.4 trillion or $43,000 per person. He is worried that economic growth is too slow to repay this debt. The debt is 90% of GNP. The only time this ratio was higher was at the aftermath of World War II. He argues the U.S. recovered in the 1950s because it did not have to spend as much as social welfare to which we are now committed to spend.

“Social security is a failure”, Perry writes. It is a system “underestimates their intelligence, their desire to return with greater stability”.

Perry supports free markets. He opposes requiring people to purchase government approved health insurance.

Perry sees Federal government incentives on education as means to get states to follow the will of the Federal government. He further criticized EPA for undermining state environmental actions. He sees the EPA as an instrument for controlling state governments rather than one that protects the environment. Further, he is upset that Supreme Court Justices who are not elected (despite his suspicions over electing Senators) can impact lives.

Perry believes state government knows best how to handle their own criminals and that uniformity of treatment is not important. He is upset over restrictions on religion in public schools.

Perry is angry that the Federal government is slow to pay state governments funds to imprison illegal immigrants.

Perry is concerned a treaty reducing weapons will undermine our military security.

Perry observes the average Texan pays about twice more in taxes for Federal government services than for state and local government services. He argues that state and local governments are more responsive to local concerns.

Perry calls for repealing Obama’s health care plan, state governments standing up to the Federal government, moving towards a smaller Federal government, the election of Constitutionalists, reducing Federal spending, and either create a flat income tax or repeal the 16th amendment in favor of a national sales tax.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How a Republicans Asks a City to Drop Dead

Fred Ferretti. The Year the Big Apple Went Bust: The Intimate Blow-By-Blow Account of New York’s Financial Follies. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1976.

The New York financial crisis has many notable characters.
There was Mayor Abraham Beame, who knew how to use accounting tricks to get accounts in books to match while hiding problems of funds not existing.
There was the Mayor before him, John Lindsay, who kept racial harmony yet allowed union and pension agreements to exist without determining how to pay for them, thus leaving paying for them to become Beame’s problem.
There was President Gerald Ford, who refused to be seen assisting a city for its spending blunders during a time of growing national fiscal conservatism who refused assistance for years before finally deciding Federal loans indeed were necessary.
There was Hugh Carey, who brought parties together, forged compromises, and used deceit and quiet deals to attain what he wanted.
There was Ford’s Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, who was Governor before Carey, who approved the existence of many moral obligation bonds that contributed to the crisis who attempted to create a dubious story that his being replaced as Ford’s running mate was due to his independence in seeking to help New York.
Senator Jacob Javits avoided the problem until it was a crisis.
Senator James Buckley avoided the issue and argued the Federal government should not assist New York.
Rep. Herman Badillo studied how the city should enter bankruptcy.
Treasury Secretary William Simon sided with Ford in arguing New York did not deserve Federal help.
Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Arthur Burns considered the problem for several months before deciding the banks needed help. Masny of the bankers had profited well from selling New York city securities and then warned that the securities were questionable.
Controller Harrison Goldin, who wanted to be Mayor, squabbled with Beame.

Mayor Beame announced in 1975 that New York City government had $3.3 billion in accumulated debt, $12.3 billion in outstanding notes, and was borrowing to pay current bills. Welfare accounted for one quarter of the city government’s budget of $3 billion. The city offered free tuition city universities and free public hospitals that obviously cost money.

The city budget often hid what actual expenses were. The budgets often shifted funds around so it was difficult to determine what the actual amounts in accounts were. In 1974, looking at the same budget, Mayor Beame declared the city deficit was $430 million while Controller Goldin claimed it was $650 million. Mayor Lindsay’s Budget Director admitted numbers could be off by $50 million. Others believed the numbers were off by as much as $400 million per year.

The city budget had been running at a deficit ranging from 6% to 15% for a decade. Short term borrowing was $3.2 billion in Fiscal Year 1968-69, $6.5 billion in Fiscal Year 1970-71, and $8.4 billion in Fiscal Year 1974-75. Debt was being used to pay debt.

In 1965, Mayor Robert Wagner determined the city deficit was $255.8 million out of a $3.87 billion budget. He proposed increasing the city real estate tax by 20%. An outcry against increased taxes came from then Controller Abe Beame and others.

Governor Rockefeller and the state legislature, instead of approving a tax increase, gave New York the ability to issue revenue anticipation notes (RANs) that were backed by estimates of anticipated revenues. The city government under Mayor Walker issued $56 million of RANs. Still, Mayor Lindsay claimed when he became Mayor the budget gap had grown to just under $1 billion. Mayor Beame later declared Mayor Lindsay had let the gap grow to $1.5 billion.

The borrowing to pay debt further meant spending on interest was increasing. This was met with more borrowing and the cycle continued.

Beame, as a product of the Democratic Party, awarded patronage jobs to organization Democrats. John Zuccotti was close to banking and business interests and was named Chairman of the Planning Commission.

The state authorized the city to issue $520 million of bonds. Half were considered unstable by Controller Goldin. Goldin wanted longer term bonds issued. Courts refused to allow them to be issued.

The city was borrowing in anticipation of receiving Federal and state funds before the funds were received. Beame stated $1.29 billion of Federal and state funds were needed. Problems developed when these funds were not provided.

The city reduced costs. 3,725 employees lost their job. 2,700 employees were forced into retirement. The mandatory retirement age was changed from 65 to 62. It was later disclosed that at least 505 who were laid off were only transferred to other positions that were paid for out of the city’s share of state funds.

30% of teachers in New York City had administrative or research jobs. It was argued the school budget was bloated with too many upper level jobs when more employees in classrooms were needed. The city told the Board of Education to reduce by 995 but the Board declined to do so, stating they’d save by not hiring substitutes in classrooms. Pressured further, the Board declared that it would not hire 4,000 people it was planning to hire and that it would cut back on absenteeism.

In the midst of the financial crisis, banker David Rockefeller argued for more spending. He urged for creating a subway under Manhattan’s Second Avenue.

The city tried to delay paying $800,000 into the police’s Health and Welfare Fund. The Fund was at a $700,000 deficit and hadn’t made its payments to Blue Cross in four months. The administrators of this police fund refused to accept the delay.

The city sought to borrow almost one billion dollars over two weeks. A law suit delayed issuing the bonds and once they were able to be sold, the market mostly refused to buy them.

Beame showed his confidence in the city’s soundness by placing his entire personal wealth in $50,000 one year city notes. The city sold $1 billion in notes but at high interest rates over short terms. The city then realized it needed $1.7 billion more. Beame finally admitted the city’s finances were in trouble.

Governor Carey provided the city with a $400 million advance to allow it to sell bonds. Beame noted that otherwise the city would have to double the income tax or triple the commercial occupancy tax or increase the real property tax 10% or add 1.5 percentage points to the sales tax.

Senate Majority Leader Warren Anderson opposed granting $400 million in increased taxes. Beame stated 38,000 additional layoffs would happen if the money was not available. 35,000 employees were laid off, four of the five city zoos were closed, and the city sales tax was broadened to include beer, laundry, and haircuts.

Carey and state government aided by selling 5.75% notes. In addition, $200 million from the state in education funds were provided early, $28- million of 8% city notes were sold, $131 million cash in an account was used for payments, and $26 million was raised in prepaid city real estate taxes. The city still needed $4 million.

Sanitation workers fought layoffs and budget cuts. A court ruled 2,934 dismissed sanitation workers were to be rehired. A subsequent court ruling upheld their dismissals. 30 sanitation trucks were sabotaged. The sanitation workers went on strike.

A Municipal Assistance Corporation Program (MAC) plan was created in the state. Wages were frozen. Budgets were capped. Taxes were limited as they were considered too burdensome to increase. Beame, previously resistant to such ideas, agreed to this state plan. Union leaders were generally agreeable.

MAC was reminiscent of a 1933 state government assistance plan when New York City previously saw a recession reduce revenues, forcing it to survive on growing debt until the market stopped buying its bonds. The city urged that pension funds and bank financing be used for paying debt. Banks stopped buying city bills. The banks agreed to buy bonds after spending cuts were made by Mayor John O’Brien under financial plans constructed by Governor Herbert Lehman.

Governor Carey, with agreement from Controller Goldin, sought to impost budget cuts, wage freezes, and budget controls that Beame didn’t want. Senator Anderson became cooperative but sought deals for Senate Republicans.

President Ford was not favorable to aiding New York City. Sen. William Proxmire of Wisconsin, but neither of New York’s Senators, heralded a bill to assist the city. Ford relented and agreed to give financial credit to the city.

Carey argued the national recession caused the crisis, He felt the Federal government should help provide the solution. Beame appealed for assistance and let it be known the city was looking at every option in an appeal written mostly by Planning Commission Chairman Zuccotti. The city went into what the White House correctly called a "sham default" where principal on debt was frozen while payments were made on interest.

New York City had gone broke, being unable to pay debt on time, It avoided legal bankruptcy but yielded control over its finances to Federal loan decision makers and state administrators.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why Republicans Should Use Mass Transit More

Peter Elkind. Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer. New York: Penguin Group, 2010.

“Welcome to a Greek tragedy” were Spitzer’s words when his scandal with a prostitute became know. The wealthy Governor, living in a $17,000 a month apartment in Manhattan, was the son of a real estate businessman. He had been a famous prosecutor with notable cases against Wall Street operations and even prostitution services. There are some suspicions that his downfall may have been assisted by someone seeking revenge.

Elliot’s father, Bernie Spitzer, was quoted as stating “I play to kill” and fought authority throughout his career. His friends state Bernie raised Eliot to be a “warrior”. Eliot attended Princeton where he put together a campus-wide toga party in addition to creating the jocular Antarctica Liberation Front. The group though did declare that student participation on university committees were designed to minimize recommendations from students.

Eliot married Silda Wall, who was unhappily married when she met Eliot. Spitzer became a prosecutor who indicted several organized crime leaders. Spitzer used undercover agents, sting operations, and installing listening devices into Gambino crime organization offices. A high profile trial led to a plea bargain when those accused ended their allegedly illegal operations, paid $12 million in fines, and served no prison time. This did cause an immediate crippling change in mob businesses.

Spitzer then spent 18 months in private practice before deciding to run for Attorney General. His wife was surprised he sought public office before their children were grown. His wife gave birth to their third child five days after he announced his candidacy.

Spitzer self-financed his own campaign. He was in a primary against Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and former State Sen. Karen Burstein. Spitzer, who had never run for office before, was not well know politically. Spitzer insisted the hundreds of temporary employees hired to gather signatures to put him on the ballot all produced, as required under the law, three forms of identification. He insisted his campaign follow all the rules.

Spitzer ran as a centrist, favoring the death penalty and charging more juveniles as adults. His man political asset was his recent prosecutions against organized crime.

Dick Morris, who usually was a political advisor to Republicans but also advised Bill Clinton, was Spitzer’s main political advisor. Morris was disliked by many Democrats so his role was mostly kept quiet. Dick Morris is not listed as being a client of Dick Morris on Spitzer’s campaign records. Payments were made to consultant Hank Sheinkopf who subcontracted his work, off the record, to Morris. Spitzer financed his own campaign, although some accuse him of receiving money from his father. Spitzer finished fourth in the 1994 Democratic Primary at 18% while spending $3.9 million, or $30 per vote. The primary winner Karen Burstein spent one tenth as much. Burstein, who is openly gay, lost the general election to Dennis Vacco.

Spitzer joined a law firm that let him take time to plan another campaign. He drove 70,000 miles across the state talking over the next four years. He employed former Democratic State Chairman John Marino. Spitzer, his family, and his campaign contributed $300,000 to fellow New York Democrats. Many he assisted later endorsed him for Attorney General. He won the 1998 Attorney General Democratic primary.

Spitzer created the Center for Community Interest, which declared it would defend against “civil liberties demands”. Spitzer claimed the political center with such moves. After winning the primary, Spitzer attacked Vacco for removing 140 lawyers with experience and replacing them with people with political connections. Vacco removed a ban against job hiring discrimination against homosexuals. Spitzer accused Vacco of not fighting for consumers. Spitzer ran an TV ad attacking Vacco’s Chief Deputy for failing the bar exam seven times.

Dick Morris advised the 1998 Spitzer campaign. He was paid $175,000. The campaign ended with a $12.2 million debt. It was determined that, despite his denials, that some funds he spent on his campaign which he claimed was his money included some funds from family members. The law allows unlimited self-financing but limits funds from others, including family members. Spitzer’s aides wanted Spitzer to admit his father was providing the legal limit he could contributed at $353,000. Spitzer declined, preferring not to have people know he was getting financial help from his father. He finally admitted that his family helped before the election. Spitzer narrowly defeated Vacco by 25,186 votes out of 4.3 million votes cast.

Spitzer saw the Attorney General as having a large stake in public interest and combating injustice. Employers not paying the minimum wage were hit with suits. Restaurant hires that discriminated against women were sued. New York City’s intention to end over 100 community gardens was halted. His office went after stock manipulators, got Merrill Lynch to settle for a $100 million fine, and they went after other Wall Street manipulators.

Under Spitzer, the Attorney General’s offices went after fraud in the mutual fund industry, leading to a 6% reduction in fees that saved investors $1.5 billion.

Spitzer ran for Governor in 2006. Meanwhile, his Attorney General’s office investigated American International Group, worth $156 billion, for fraud. The head of AIG, Hank Greenberg and fellow billionaire friend Ken Langone, publically threatened to destroy Spitzer. It was believed that would raise tens of millions of dollars for his political opponent. Opposition research teams researched in search of anything embarrassing against Spitzer. Greenberg’s foundation donated $10 million to the New School and its President, former Senator Bob Kerrey, who spoke out publically against Spitzer for attacking Greenberg in the press rather than in court.

The Attorney General’s office went after ten large scale prostitution rings, leading to imprisonment of the owner.

Several Harlem political bosses, including Secretary of State Basil Patterson, backed Leela Eve, an attorney, for Lieutenant Governor. Spitzer did not like anyone dictating to him, but he also didn’t want to offend the African America community that was partly led by the Harlem bosses. Spitzer instead picked State Sen. David Patterson, Basil’s son, as his running mate. Eve withdrew.

Spitzer had a skeleton. He saw high paid prostitutes. Several political opponents sought to find evidence of sexual impropriety but nothing surface during the 2006 campaign. Spitzer won 69.6% of the primary vote and 81% of the general election vote.

The New York legislature is considered dysfunctional. Many state legislative issues were made by agreement between the Republican Senate Majority Leader, the Democratic House Speaker, and the Governor. The legislative leadership directed more legislation and legislative staff hiring. This leadership decided how much in grants each legislator could be awarded to organizations supported by the legislature. Senate Republicans and staff gave themselves 800 Capitol parking spaces while giving Senate Democrats 30 parking spaces. Legislators were not legally required to disclose outside income. Senators were advised to hand deliver their ethics statements rather than mail them to avoid any possible Federal mail fraud charges.

Spitzer distrusted the legislature and told them so. They elected a fellow legislator as State Comptroller over a list of three selected by a panel Spitzer helped create. Spitzer called their actions “a stunning lack of integrity”. Spitzer then attacked by name some Democratic legislators who had supported him and canceled a fundraiser for legislative Democrats. Spitzer called for Speaker Sheldon Silver , a Democrat, to disclose his outside income as an attorney. Legislators were very upset and Spitzer in return.

Health care accounted for $46 billion of New York’s $120 billion budget. Health care costs were increasing 8% annually. Funding formulas sent funds to underserved hospitals and nursing homes while outpatient clinics and home healthcare were underfunded. The Hospital Association and its labor component SEIU Local 1199 agreed on increasing health care spending. Local 1199 was closely allied with Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Republican. Spitzer proposed holding the increase on health care spending to 2%, which meant cutting health care by $1.3 billion. Spitzer then proposed using the funds for health insurance for 400,000 uninsured children, increasing funds to low income school districts, and cutting property taxes.

Bruno and the Republican majority in the Senate sought to scale back the health care costs Spitzer wanted. Silver and the Democratic majority in the House sided towards Spitzer. A compromise was reached that put back $350 million in cuts Spitzer had wanted to hospitals and nursing homes, allowed $1 billion in cuts Spitzer wanted, provided more funds to poorer school districts, and provided $200 million to wealthier school districts in Long Island represented by Republican legislators. The budget increased 7.3%, or twice the inflation rate. The budget process continued being negotiated in private, angering groups that had hoped Spitzer would deliver on his promise to open the negotiations for public review.

Spitzer proposed lowering the $55.800 limit a donor could contribute to a statewide candidate. This was the nation’s highest state limit. Spitzer publicly criticized the legislature for pork spending projects. He attacked
Senators when they missed meetings. The legislature, in return, increased its opposition to Spitzer.

State aircraft are available for state business use. Bruno often used planes. Spitzer’s office required that state aircraft be used for “more than predominately” state purposes, since it was possible to use the aircraft for a short state use meeting and then attended a political or personal meeting. Bruno refused to submit itineraries, citing separation of powers between the legislature and administration. Spitzer chose not to press this issue and allowed Bruno use of the plane. The press discovered many of the flights were primarily to attend political functions.

The press reported Spitzer used State Police surveillance of Bruno. This spying became a press scandal facing Spitzer. It is noted that both of the scandals, Bruno’s flights nor Spitzer’s tracing of Bruno may have been legal. Yet much of the press and public found it troubling. The Attorney General recommended settling the issue by increasing the requirements for plane use.

It became known that Spitzer was wiring money without disclosing who was being paid. He also asked how the money could be sent without being tracked back to him. The FBI discovered that Spitzer was paying prostitutes with this money.

Spitzer realized he had few friends and many enemies in the legislature. A more popular Governor might have found a way to survive this scandal (as his successor did). Impeachment appeared likely for Spitzer. Spitzer resigned as Governor. Spitzer was never charged with a crime.

There are many theories that someone who disliked Spitzer tipped off the FBI. No theory has yet been proven as true.

David Patterson became Governor. Patterson immediately admitted to adultery and paying for a hotel room with his mistress twice using political funds, which is illegal. Paterson paid his campaign personally to cover these costs.

Bruno was later charged with illegally accepting $3.2 million from businesses. He was convicted.

Friday, December 17, 2010

How a Democrat Leaves Things for a Republican

Edward G. Rendell and Mary A. Soderberg. 2010-11 Mid-Year Briefing. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of the Budget. December 16, 2010.

The 2010-11 General Fund budget, as enacted was set at $28.03 billion. Within this, there were $2.8 billion of Federal fiscal relief funds that are terminating during this budget year. In addition, there were $750 million in revenues anticipated for this fiscal year that are one time revenues. Thus, $3.5 billion of funds in this year’s budget are not available for next year’s budget.

The basic education subsidy increased 4.5%, or $250 million. This held off property tax increases.

2.1 million people were served by state health care and social services.

November 2010 saw sales and use tax revenues as 8.6% larger than what was collected during November 2009. It is hoped this signals a continuing increase in such revenues. The amount collected in General Fund revenues in total is 2.1% more, or an additional $71 million, that what was initially forecasted for this budget. In addition, corporate tax revenues are 8% larger, or an additional$45 million, that what was forecast for this budget. Yet personal income tax and realty tax collections are lower than expected. In sun, the General Fund, for July through November 2010, is 0.15% above what was forecast for this budgtet.

FMAP funds from the Federal budget were $280 million less than initially budgeted. In response, $200 million of spending was canceled. This year’s budget began with a $12 million surplus. Safety next enrollments were higher than expected, at an increased cost of $65 million. In sum, the General Fund is running at a $63 million deficit.

The Motor License Fund revenues are $43.5 million more than was forecast.

The Rendell Administration, over eight years, has reduced administrative line items by 14%. There are 6%, or 4,875 fewer state government employees. As of November 2010, there were 76,782 state employees.

Annually, from eight years ago, Commonwealth costs are $639 million less due to administrative and operational cost controls, $382 million less due to program efficiencies, $317 million less due to procurement practices, $255 million less due to complement control and related expenses, and $161 million is due to revenue collection and generation.

The state’s Moody’s credit rating is As1 and Fitch rating is AA+. These are the second best credit ratings.

Recently enacted increases in retirement age and vesting years plus lower benefits, all for new employees, are predicted to reduce pension payments for $16 billion over 25 years.

Medical assistance pharmaceutical efficiencies, stricter fraud and abuse enforcement, and increased third party liability collections saved $2.1 billion over the past eight years. Revenue initiatives provided $784 million more to medical assistance.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

We Suspect This Author is a Republican

Sarah Palin. American By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag. New York: HarperColins Publishers, 2010.

The author warns that our freedom could be taken away in one generation. She seeks to defend American values. These values include strong families and faith in God. She sees our flaws as flaws of humanity and not flaws in the nature of the United States. Our country is one founded in our belief in freedom and freedom results from being in God's image, Palin argues.

Palin sees Obama's health care program as a threat to freedom, for she argues it will limit the right of whether or not to buy health insurance. She instead believes Congress should pass tort reform to reduce the ability of patients to sue doctors.

America is an exceptional nation, Palin declares. Our beliefs and values make us so. The United States should strive to be a role model for other nations.

Palin believes in a free market economy. She sees government involvement in the free market economy is unfair. She encourages working hard to use our liberties to advance ourselves.

She argues that families are very important. She observes more people from broken families are more adversely affected during turbulent times. She uses the aftermath of Katrina as an example of this.

Palin writes she resigned as Governor so she "could fight for Alaska, and America, more effectively in a different venue."

Advice from a Louisiana Republican

Bobby Jindal with Peter Schweizer and Curt Anderson. Leadership and Crisis. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., Eagle Publishing Company, 2010.

This autobiography of Louisiana's Governor begins with an attack on President Obama for visiting his during the major oil spill and not once mentioning the spill. Obama discussed being asked to provide food stamps to those losing employment from the spill and was upset over public criticism. He felt Obama was more interested in having the press see him involved than actually providing solutions to containing the spill itself.

Jindal criticizes Federal plans on the oil spill. He thought the plan to burn marshes contaminated with oil was "crazy". He believes the Federal government failed to deliver enough resources. Jindal believes multiple actions are needed to control a spill, from placing sand bags to skimmers to constructing sand berms. He further believes the Federal government was slow to obtain funds from BP for containing the spill they caused. He further believes the Federal government failed to challenge the informaiton BP was providing and they should have been questioining their assertions.

Jindal concludes a central command from a remote locaiton can't properly oversee a crisis. This crisis led Jindal to create principals of leadership during a crisis. These principles are to learn from the front of the action, act quickly when urgency so dictates, get advice from those on the scene and familiar with the locality, advise the Federal government what is needed from them instead of stalling while they decide what they think should be done, inform the public with as much information as possible, when something doesn't work act quickly to make changes, require excellent and refuse to accept competence, work towards solutions regardless of their political consequence, consider historic responses and then "throw it out" and improvise new reactions, and prepare alternatives.

Jindal describes getting into politics, noting in Louisiana it is "Bible belt during the day, knife fighting after dark."

Jindal's father is from India. Jindal grew up in Louisiana and states he faced few difficulties as the son of Hindu parents. He converted to Catholicism. He argues it is prejudicial to assume Louisiana residents are prejudiced.

Jindal distrusts the national press. He argues that the issues concerning the people of Louisiana are their taxes, the condition of their infrastructure, and the state budget. The national press seems more concerned over hot button issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and creationism even though these are not issues facing Louisiana state government.

Jindal once gave the Republican response to a President Obama speech. He admits "I blew it". He states he has trouble reading off teleprompters.

Jindal's given name is Piyush. He chose the nickname Bobby in preschool because he liked the Bobby Brady TV character. His parents accepted his new nickname.

Jindal was appointed the head of Louisiana's Health and Hospitals Department at age 24. He became head of the University of Louisiana eight university system at age 27. He was upset to learn universities were more concerned about attracting more students than in properly preparing students with good educations.

Jindal notes that spending on education has increased but results are not improving. He admits resources are important and spending per se makes little difference. He believes teacher pay should be related to their students' performances. As Governor, he led passage of a law allowing parents to choose any school, public parochial, and participating private, to send a child with 90% of the school allocation for that child going to the chosen school He believe competition among schools will force them to prove their educational offerings. He notes this will open up better private schools to students who otherwise couldn't afford to attend them.

When Jindal ran for Governor at age 31, he was one of 17 candidates. He polled at 3% in the first poll he took. His campaign ran only on radio with no TV ads due to its small budget. He proposed 20 reforms and ran on those. His proposals included more ethics, attracting businesses, and helping more small businesses. He faced two candidates who spent $10 million of their own money. He finished first in the preliminary round with 33% of the vote yet, since new candidate won a majority, Louisiana has a runoff between the top two candidates. He lost to Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco by 52% to 48%,

The next year, Jindal was elected to Congress. He found many members of Congress were arrogant and expected special treatment wherever they went. Legislation is complex, written by staff, and is not read by members of Congress. Congressional hearings were often for speeches and not for legitimate legislative inquiry. Congressional debate is usually for cameras before otherwise empty rooms.

Jindal notes that the 2009 Federal budget, when Bush left office, was almost as large as the entire 200 budget, Clinton's last year. Jindal doesn't mention Bush on this fact,

Jindal supports term limits, a part time Congress, a Federal balanced budget, a pay as you go Constitutional amendment, giving the President line item veto over budgetary items. He notes Louisiana cut its state budget by 14% in Fiscal Year 2010-11.

Jindal notes the Pennsylvania Constitution used to require legislators have a honest profession. This was so they wouldn't become career politicians.

Jindal is upset over the bureaucracy that hampered rescue operations of people trapped by flooding after the Katrina hurricane. Bureaucrats demanded stores close when they were needed to be open to sell supplies, Volunteers contributing food were turned away for food safety law reasons,

Jindal, the son of immigrants, favors secure borders while allowing immigration from highly skilled people and those escaping persecution from Cuba and elsewhere. He claims most low income immigrants remain low income and receive $10,000 more in government benefits over the national household average. He favors building a high tech fence along our Southern border. He also favors declaring English as the official language to urge immigrants to learn English.

Jindal campaigned for greater ethics. He sought to disallow legislaotrs, who are part time, from being employed by lobbying firms, requiring financial disclosures from legislators, disallowing being a government employee while owning, even partially, a business that has a government contract. He made ethics a top priority as Governor and ethic laws have been enacted.

Health care is a concern of Jindal's. He argues that health care decisions have become political and that the system has much waste. He notes the Federal government agrees it improperly spent $50 billion on Medicare in 2009. He believes health care spending should reflect outcomes, should involve consumers, and there should be more information provided on costs.

Jindal calls for subsidizing private health insurance to get them to take on more risk. He does not favor expanding Medicaid to fill this role. He wants health insurance portability for when people move or change jobs, to permit voluntary insurance purchasing pools through an employer, union, or church, to reduce lawsuits against doctors, to increase the use of the tax free Health Savings Accounts, to provide discounts of health insurance for healthy life styles, to provide tax credits and tax refunds for insuring the uninsured,, and for educating people on reducing health care costs

Jindal favors nuclear energy and questions the reliability of solar energy, He calls the unreliability of nuclear power a myth that evolved from what he calls the Three Mile Island Effect.

Global warming is an alarmist theory, Jindal believes. He claims evidence refuting global warning has been repressed. He notes the reality is we will be using fossil fuels for now and for some time. He argues that closing polluting businesses in America will only lead to the industries moving to other countries where they will be able to pollute even more in countries with lower environmental standards, and they will take American jobs in doing this.

Jindal warns against taxing oil companies. He claims that taxing them is a major reason why domestic oil production has fallen from 9.2 million barrels a day in 1973 to 5 million barrels a day in 2007. He favors opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. He believes offshore drilling should be an issues decided upon by each involved state.

Medicare is being finally supported by short term accounting tricks, according to Jindal. Medicare is complex, creating 10,000 prices in 3,000 counties with 130,000 pages of regulations, guidelines, rulings, etc. He favors Federal suppor of insurance premiums to connect the marketplace of insurance to performance. He argues this will encourage increases in quality and reductions in costs.

Jindal argues that moral issues are very important. He sees our nation united by common values.

When Republicans Don't Plan

Witold Rybczynski. Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities. New York: Schribner, 2010.

This book presents the emergence of ideas regarding city planning and how they were refined over time. Present planning concepts favor more use of private sector entrepreneurism than many past planning theories considered.

Lewis Mumford is noted by the author as having ideas of regional planning that still resonate as he theorized the coming reality of sprawl spreading to exurbs. Jane Jacobs is noted as correctly foreseeing urban neighborhood vitality, but not with a steady middle class as Jacobs saw, but with wealthier results and more mobile newcomers. Frank Lloyd Wright correctly forecast urban decentralization. All together, these and others' planning ideas helped shape applicable theories today.

The U.S. has undergone relatively unplanned development, which is something Jacobs woud defend. Many of the primary factors determining how development occurs are decided by private developers rather than a few city planners. Planners strive to set and meet general goals of keeping cities livable and economically viable, safe from crime, diverse, and environmentally responsible. Economic decisions determine what people are willing to purchase. This had led to clashes between those desiring consistent urban design and those who want unique architectural designs. A major clash develops when the desires of what people wish to purchase may not be in the best interest for others, or the best for the environment.

Public parks are unique to North America. Most European cities, by contrast, have areas for visual viewing of gardens, flowers, and tended plants.

The public sector has often sought to work in conjunction with the private sector. An example of this is the Brooklyn Bridge Park where piers, parks, and housing are simultaneously under construction.

Much of current planning evolved from past ideas. Charles Mulford Robinson supported keeing cities looking nice visually. He favored cities adorned with trees, public art, clean streets, well lit streets, limited outdoor advertising, and height limits on buildings.

Ebenezer Howard led a movement that created Garden Cities. There are parks near cities. Many continue existing.

Le Corbusier called for tall buildings designed for practical use. He also favored bringing parks and nature close to cities. He argued for keeping apart the different centers of activities, such as shopping areas, main government buildings, sports stadiums, cultural and arts centers, etc. Zoning would plan this accordingly.

Jane Jacobs was very critical of urban renewal. She argued that residents and not bureaucrats should determine what residents wanted. She also believed cities should not be art but should concentrate on allowing people to live their lives,

Lewis Mumford agreed with Jacobs on her views against urban renewal plans but disagreed with her on her criticisms of planning for urban parks. Mumford believed good architecture and design were worthy goals while Jacobs did not see these as proper planning laws,

Patrick Geddes supported Howard's plans for parks and urged for additional conservation and ecological preservation. He was active in getting Scotland more involved in establishing parks and helping the local biology. Le Corbusier took favorable note of the efforts of Geddes.

Frank Lloyd Wright realized that automobiles had taken away the need for a city with a concentrated center. His predictions of decentralization were confirmed with the growth of suburbs. His prediction that cities would is wrong as cities have found ways to revitalize.

The Garden City movement of Ebenezer Howard resonates even thought none have been created since the 1930s. This is because many of those that were created remain and continue to be popular.

Herbert Gans observed that many people have various ideas on how their city should develop. We live in an entrepreneurial economic system. Martin Meyerson noted that there should be public support for planning goals in order for them to be enacted.

William Manning prepared a master plan for Harrisburg. It turned a swamp into a lake and created parks, gardens, and a pedestrian bridge. His Riverfront Park remains an attraction.

The Burtham and Bennett master plan for Chicago led to a lakefront park. Much of the rest of their plans did not materialize. Their ideas did influence the actions of planners and developers.

San Francisco created Fisherman's Wharf to attract tourism. It was not an urban renewal plan. Similarly, private developer James Rouse renovated Quincy Market in Boston as an attraction for tourists and well as nearby residents. Other commercial developments that attract tourists include Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco, South Street Seaport in New York, Navy Pier in Chicago, and Bayside Marketplace in Miami.

Some new buildings are so uniquely designed that they are affected by the Bibao Effect. This means they are immediately declared an iconic building. This is also called the Bilbao Anomaly since this rarely happens,

Penn's Landing in Philadelphia took decades to develop. Its large size required large and stable investors who could weather market cycles. There was a master plan with a grand plan the entire areas. What may have made more sense would have been to develop it in smaller sections. By comparison, the Brooklyn Bridge Park had clear public good and private development goals that are materializing.

The author notes public participation is important when developing large urban projects.

Suburban growth has happened more quickly than urban growth in most regions except for in seven areas where the cities outgrew their suburbs, The seven cities that did this are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland, and Norfolk.

Most downtowns are about four square miles and are walkable by 20 minutes from the downtown center to its edge. It is the attraction of shopping on foot that keeps downtowns competitive with suburban malls. Thus, downtowns can't expand in size. 90% of people who live downtown are single. Downtown residents are 0,3% of the population.

Most urban development occurs piecemeal. The author notes that marketplace decisions are not always the most accurate means to decide development. Still, the larger number of people involved in these decisions likely make their plans better than those of a few city planners. The author notes historical information should not be a deciding factor but that knowledge of past experiences and outcomes can help guide current actions.

Back When Republicans Wanted New York to Drop Dead

Seymour P. Lachman and Robert Polmer. The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975. Albany, N.Y.: Excelsoir Editions, 2010.

The authors argue that Governor Hugh Carey's leadership was a major factor in resolving financial difficulties that almost, within hours, bankrupted New York. Carey negotiated with the parties involved, such as bankers, union leaders, and elected officials. He successfully brought all to agree on difficult actions that resolved the crises.

The book serves as a warning on preventing such a situation from happening again or elsewhere. Cautions are provided by the authors that city governments should stop spending on special interests. This spending accumulates and grows over time and, when debt accumulates to where debt is used to pay debt, a city may discover it can’t obtain any more credit and the due bills can’t be paid, causing bankruptcy. Overspending, especially on items which are not much needed, can lead to debt accumulations that grow until repaying them is unaffordable. Further, a city budgets is often at the whims of external economic forces beyond its control. An economic downturn can drive a city's budget over the financial brink by shrinking available credit, so leaner budgets will better survive the downtown,

Carey, at much political risk to himself, interjected the state government into New York City's financial crisis. He convinced bankers to moderate their demands upon the city government and convinced union leaders to risk buying city bonds with union pension funds. These purchases were chancy as the bonds could have sunk to little value and jeopardized the pension funds. The city government was able to balance its budget, which met the Carter Administration's requirements that allowed the city to return to the credit market to repay its debts.

Carey also led getting the Federal government to help during the Presidency of Gerald Ford. Ford had publically spoken out against helping New York City. Carey convinced the Ford Administration to provide special loans to four New York state agencies that were near financial ruin. Had Carey not stabilized the state government's finances, he likely would have been unable to save New York City.

Carey served in World War II, saw battle, and was among Allies that liberated the Mittlebau-Dora concentration camp. Carey, though, told his political consultants not to use this in his campaigns, refusing to retell the liberation stories by explaining "leave them along, they've suffered enough."

Carey was inspired by the Presidential candidacy of fellow Irish American John Kennedy and was upset that his Republican U.S. Representative Fred Dorn was criticizing Kennedy, He offered to help volunteer for whoever was running for Congress against Dorn only to learn that no one was. Party leaders asked if he would run and Carey agreed. Nixon won the district but Carey defeated Dorn by 1,097 votes. In a rematch, two years later, Carey defeated Dorn by 383 votes in a redistricted area designed to elect a Republican.

When Carey announced his candidacy for Governor in 1974, a poll showed he was known by 5% of the voters versus 91% who knew his primary opponent, Howard Samuels. Carey and his 12 children campaigned across the state. He ran as an outsider against Samuels, who had the endorsement of the Democratic Party organization. Carey upset Samuels, who led in the polls until the very end, and then defeated Governor Malcolm Wilson in the general election.

New York City increased its sale of short term bonds in 1974 as they could not find buyers for their long term bonds. Bankers warned that the market had too many long term city bonds and they would no longer buy them. Short term bonds have higher interest rates and cost the city more money to issue then. These increased costs further strained the city's financial resources.

On the state level, the state government had created the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to build new housing in areas where "red lining” had led banks to not give housing loans to low income racial minority applicants. The construction on these affordable housing units began before loans were secured. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary George Romney decided to place a moratorium on the providing such loans, leaving the projects underway without sufficient financing. UDC owed $1 billion in bonds on unfinished projects that were not producing any revenue. Banks refused to loan UDC more money to meet its bond payments that were due February 1975. This situation was aggravated by the facts that the banks underwriting these loans, who had hoped to profit by reselling them, chose not to harm the resale value by warning the public of their increased risks.

When Carey became Governor and learned of UDC's problems, he decided it was important to act and win cooperation of the Republican legislators who controlled the State Senate. He could have chosen to blame the Republican White House and HUD whose policies led to the crisis or blame the previous Republican Governors Wilson and Nelson Rockefeller who were in office when this crisis developed. Carey sent an emergency budget bill to the legislature. He briefed the legislative leaders on the crisis and how this could affect the entire state's bond rating. The legislature responded and approved a $30 million loan from an underwriter. This also allowed the legislature to study, grasp the problem, and approve $178 million of appropriations to meet debt payments to bond holders and to approve $50 million to be appropriate to the reserve fund.

Carey brought in a new leader, Richard Ravitch, to direct UDC. Carey met with banking executives to obtain their advice. Their reply was only for the state to repay its' debts. The legislature balked at providing further assistance. State Comptroller Arthur Levitt began refusing to invest state employee pension funds in UDC. In February 1975, UDC defaulted on its' loans, something no sizeable government had done since the Depression. Interest rates on state government bonds across the nation increased. Cary led the legislature in allocating $105 million to cover UDC mortgages. This persuaded banks to make available $140 million in credit.

Carey then learned that New York City, with an $11.5 billion annual operating budget, had $6 billion in short term debt as well as a $1 billion deficit. An advisor to Carey suggested New York restructure its' debt. It was noted that doing so would require the cooperation of the state, the city, the Federal government, banks, and labor unions. Carey realized it is a political rule that a Governor does not meddle in a Mayor's policies and he was initially reluctant to get involved in the city's crisis. He realized the seriousness of the problem and decided his involvement was important.

New York City had about 8 million people with about 1 million people receiving government cash assistance. It also had the highest per capita taxes in the nation. The city lost 500,000 jobs from 1969 to 1976. Unable to fully pay for its social needs, the city increased borrowing. As Mayor Robert Wagner, Jr. had commented, "a good loan is better than a poor tax." City Controller Abraham Beame warned that using debt to pay for operating expenses would lead to "a day of reckoning". Even when Beame became Mayor, the city placed $750 million of operating expenses into the capital budget and used financial help from the Federal and state governments to continue services.

Mayor Beame had issued much debt in anticipation of the economy improving. He knew the city's debt was intermingled with banks' financial outcomes. He figured banks would continue helping New York City to protect their interests. Beame didn't plan for the economic turnaround to not occur.

In October to November 1974, the city borrowed $2.5 billion, increasing its total short term debt to $4.5 billion. The city issued short term loans in anticipation of interest rates increased that would attract buyers to purchasing the city's long term bonds instead. When interest rates did not increase, more short term debt was issued to cover current short term debt repayment. New York City held 29% of all short term loans nationwide.

Carey persuaded Felix Rohatyn, known derisively on Wall Street as "Felix the Fixer" to help. Carey knew Rohatyn was not enamored with government after appearing before a confrontational Congressional hearing. Carey persuaded Rohatyn that he could rebrand himself as "Felix the Savior" for saving New York City. Carey realized if the city defaulted that its' connections to state finance could then lead to the state facing default.

Critics argued other parts of the state had needs and they were not happy having state government focus on helping one city, Carey exploded, explaining "if one of my children came to me and said he's broke, I'm not going to put him on the street." Carey advanced the city $400 million with state issued short term notes he technically wasn't supposed to issue without voter ballot approval. This allowed the city to avoid defaulting on April 1975.

Carey considered New York City defaulting as “unthinkable". In it went bankrupt, the judiciary would administer city government and the authority of elected officials would be vastly diminished. Labor contracts, city rules, and city regulations could be set aside for financial stability goals. Employee backlash could be expected. If there were fewer fire, police, and sanitation workers, these shortages could disrupt the city and upset the public. Increased crime and a possible return of recent lootings and civil disobedience were feared. In addition state bonds and bonds in other municipalities across the state and nation could sharply increase, which would aggravate statewide financial problems. There were further fears some banks could suffer from the default non-payments enough that they could fold, further thus further escalating an economic crisis.

The city sought to issue $537 million of bonds. No one sought to underwrite it. The city had lost credibility in the financial markets. The city managed to issue $375 million at a relatively high 8% interest rate repayable in 102 days. The bond counsel warned of adverse conditions with the issue. David Rockefeller and other bankers announced they would no longer loan the city any more money.

New York had $80 billion in taxable real estate and $100 billion in annual business transactions. This raised for the city $7 billion in local tax revenue. Beame tried to show bankers he was cutting city expenses and he lowered the city's 330,000 employees by 1,000. Banking officials were not much impressed by these cuts.

Carey and Beame asked the Federal government for $1 billion in credit. The Gerald Ford Administration declined this request. Republican leaders in the State Senate also opposed giving the city more assistance, insisting the city first increase tolls, subway fares, and make significant workforce reductions including paying city workers to work four days (thus cutting their salaries 20%).

Carey created a commission with Rohatyn and financial experts to give him advice. The commission members asked to see the city's financial records only to learn the city didn't keep financial records. What the city knew to do what issue new kinds of debt to pay due debt.

The state government created the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) to buy short term city debt and exchange it for lowered interest long term debt. MAC would have authority over city finances. State House Speaker Stanley Steingut helped guide passage of legislation creating MAC but with lesser authority over the city than Carey wanted. MAC did have the authority to audit city finances.

MAC was able to keep New York solvent through August when $792 million in note repayments were due. Carey asked for a city wage freeze, higher transit fares, reductions at the City University, and labor rule changes to increase employee productivity. Beame added an increase in the State Island Ferry fare, which had been 5 cents since 1898. Union leaders countered by proposing deferring wages instead of freezing them. They also asked for reducing employees by attrition instead of layoffs, but they did not receive this.

It soon was obvious even MAC would not be enough to keep the city solvent. Emergency measures would be necessary. Carey called the state legislature into emergency session. He invited legislators to meals and drinks where he explained the situation and his proposal for more control over the city's finances and the ability to alter existing union agreements. Several conservative Republican legislators who previously opposed Carey's financial proposals now supported this more financially prudent plan.

Carey met with labor leaders. He convinced some to invest union pension funds in MAC bonds. The unions had an interest in not letting the city fail. The city’s bankruptcy could have resulted in having all collective bargaining agreement nullified.

There were supporters of bankruptcy. Some liberals argued that bankruptcy would allow the city to better restructure its debt. Some conservatives supported bankruptcy in hopes it would destroy unions and cut public spending.

The city agreed to yield financial decision making authority for three years, and possibly more, in return for MAC assistance. MAC had the ability to provide as much as $5 billion in bonds.

Carey realized Federal government assistance was unlikely. President Ford was being challenged by a more conservative Governor Ronald Reagan and anti-New York bias was strong in politically key conservative states.

Upstate legislators, many of whom had districts financially struggling due to industrial decline, wondered why they should help New York City when the state was not helping their part of the state. The legislative Black Caucus and Puerto Rican Caucus saw these moves as the state aiding wealthy banks. Downstate legislators who were more impacted by New York City's troubles supported Carey's legislation on New York City. It passed the Assembly 80 to 70 with all Republicans and eight upstate Democrats voting against it. It then passed the State Senate by 35 to 26. The bill was passed in the middle of the night, implying support was sought from legislators for many hours. Carey signed it at 4:47 am.

Bankers increased their demands. They wanted a political sacrifice and demanded Beame resign as Mayor. Carey pointed out that the law would then make liberal Paul O'Dwyer Mayor and the bankers withdrew this demand. The bankers then insisted Beame's Deputy Mayor Jim Cavanagh be fired. Carey sent Beame the distressing order and Cavanaugh was dismissed and then replaced with John Zuciotti, who had more trust from business leaders.

Teachers discovered their class sizes increased sharply. They went on strike. In the past, a mediator was called in to settle strikes. This time, the city saw a financial benefit in not paying for schools,. The teachers' union leader Albert Shanker asked for the strike to end observing "a strike is a weapon you use against a boss than has money. This boss has no money". The union members voted to end the strike after five days.

Shanker knew how to fight back effectively. He announced he was withholding a promise to use teacher retirement funds to buy $225 million of MAC bonds. The city was hours away from missing a payroll without the funds Shanker had promised. Beame called President Ford for help but aides wouldn't let the call go through. Carey was aware that Richard Ravitch knew Shanker and asked Ravitch to act. Shanker explained he had a fiduciary duty to protect the retirement fund. Ravitch argued that hospitals, child care centers, and other social services the city operated would not be able to obtain credit and people would suffer. The city prepared a bankruptcy declaration to deliver to the courts. Beame asked other labor leaders to intervene. Some report Victor Gotbaum physically threatened Shanker.

Negotiations with Carey, Ravitch, Shanker, and others were help in person. Carey offered to steer a teachers' contract dispute towards a pro-labor mediator. Shanker agreed to make the payments with two hours to spare. Realizing the time to physically make the transactions occur before defaulting may have passed, Ravitch convinced the banks to say open an additional two hours so Shanker's union could buy the bonds and then the money could be sent to the city. The banks agreed. Shanker's decision saved New York City from bankruptcy but his union suffered as 19,000 teachers, or 20% of his union's members, lost their jobs. Also, a new contract with teachers was not approved until 17 months later.

Carey learned the Federal government still was not likely to help. Mayor Richard Daley and White House Chief of of State Donald Rumsfeld, who was from Illinois, hoped New York City would default. They hoped this would drive financial services business to Chicago. Carey received confirmation that if New York City defaulted then Chicago would become the nation's new financial center.

A state board saved two agencies to avoid default by accounting actions. Their debt that was almost defaulted on was shifted onto other budgetary lines. No money transacted but the accounting moves avoided defaults.

President Ford remained unmoved by the efforts New York City was making to resolve its problems. He stated he would veto any legislation to help New York avoid default. The Joint Economic Committee of Congress projected that a New York City default could lowed GNP by 1%.

Carey met with Republican Rep. John Rhodes who recommended a helpful bill could pass Congress if it did not contain a provision specifically for bailing out New York City. Carey met with other Congressional leaders who agreed with this strategy. The actions the state and city took were noticed in Washington. Congress approved $2.4 billion of loans to New York City over three years. It passed the House 213 to 203 and the Senate by 57 to 30.

Carey convinced the state legislature to give holders of New York City's short term bonds of $1.6 billion a choice of two options. They could either exchange their short term debt for ten year MAC bonds at 8% or they could keep the short term bonds but the principal would be suspended for at least three years. The legislation was a negotiated compromise between legislators from both political parties, bankers, business leaders, bond counsels, and city officials.

Carey then helped convince the legislature to approve a 25% increase in the city personnel increase tax, a 50% surcharge on the state estate tax, and increases in services and cigarette taxes. He convinced the Republican Majority Assembly Leader Perry Dureau to support this as there were not enough Democratic voters to pass this. It then passed the Senate 31 to 27. Passage of this helped convince banks to allow over $1.6 billion of loans to mature longer.

State Budget Director Peter Goldmark met with officials of 150 banks that held New York bonds. Four state authorities had $2.6 billion falling due, an amount that was about 20% of the state's operating budget. He convinced many banks to hold back on demanding repayments as the funds wouldn't be there. They would only receive partial repayments if an Authority went bankrupt. Goldmark also met with insurance executives for assistance. Several authority projects were sold to private developers or county government for $400 million.