Turns out Mayor Bloomberg sneaked ahead of his buddy David Paterson to deliver dire financial news this week. The governor is scheduled to give a hard-hitting address to the state tomorrow regarding a budget crisis that is "worse than anyone realizes," and to urge state agencies to "slash spending" to avoid a $4 billion, two-year budget gap. And Bloomberg today had similar news: By 2010 the city could be facing a $2.3 billion budget gap. Now, the state hasn't been as careful with its pennies over the years as the city has (Bloomberg tried to build up surplus cushions against the possibility of an economic downturn), but it sounds like both are equally serious about facing the problem head-on. Bloomberg laid out in detail what he has done, and will continue to do — including freezing city-funded spending, seeking agency-specific budget cuts, and spreading the current four-year capital plan to five years. Tomorrow, Paterson, who has been consulting with economists like Nobel Prize–winner Joseph Stiglitz and the budget planning teams for former governors Mario Cuomo and Hugh Carey, will present his own analysis. We're hoping it makes up in humor what it may lack in optimism. That's how we prefer to take our bad news.
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