Stop the bickering and get Americans back to work.
That’s the message Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered with presidential candidate-flair Wednesday as he blasted Washington and Albany for not creating jobs.
“As families struggle to get by, they have seen little but partisan gridlock, political pandering and legislative influence-peddling,” he said in a speech at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in front of business leaders and politicians.
“Finger-pointing, blame games and endless attacks. Put simply: when it comes to creating jobs, government hasn’t gotten the job done.”
Bloomberg, who some believe may make a run for president in 2012, said the city’s economy is growing twice as fast as the rest of the country and eight times as fast as the rest of the state. Some 55,000 private sector, middle class jobs have been added to the city’s economy since last October, he said.
“The economic policies that we have pursued to drive this growth have been neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative,” he said.
He called on state and federal leaders to “chart a middle way,” and slammed Democrats and Republicans for choosing political scuffles over “forging centrist solutions” to the country’s economic woes.
Bloomberg’s plan for recovery includes rebuilding confidence, improving regulations, promoting trade and innovation, cutting business taxes and investing in job training.
Not everyone was convinced, however.
Dan Morris, spokesman for the Living Wage NYC coalition, argued that Bloomberg “wildly overstated” the city’s economic growth.
“As of October, a record number of New Yorkers — nearly 2 million — were enrolled in the city's Food Stamp Program,” he said in an email statement. “That’s a clear sign the Mayor’s economic policies and vision have failed working people.”
Councilman James Sanders, chairman of the Council’s Civil Service and Labor Committee, said the city still needs to do more for small businesses owned by minorities.
“Minority businesses have a better chance of forming and staying alive in Selma, Alabama with its tainted history than they do in esteemed, liberal New York,” he said.