De Blasio vs. Lhota: Tale of Two Cities

Sunday, 06 Oct 2013 09:00 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Two men with opposing visions are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as the next mayor of New York City.

Democratic front-runner Bill de Blasio believes more government involvement can solve the city's problems. He wants to raise taxes on those earning more than a half-million dollars a year and use the money to provide free pre-kindergarten and other educational programs, according to The New York Times.

He advocates greater government involvement to create jobs and provide affordable housing. With the reportedly half-billion dollars in taxes he'd raise, de Blasio would fund apprenticeship programs in construction, establish a $100 million loan fund for neighborhood entrepreneurs, and increase benefits to those receiving city subsidies.

He talks about New York becoming a Tale of Two Cities – one of the very well off elite the other of "millions of everyday New Yorkers" left behind.

Currently the city's public advocate, de Blasio was an aide to former mayor David Dinkins. During the Clinton administration he worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Underdog Republican candidate Joe Lhota is out with an economic plan of his own, according to The New York Post. Lhota, who served as a deputy under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and later ran the city's mass-transit agency, wants to grow jobs by lowering costs for businesses "that create them."

He would reduce taxes and ditch "excessive" regulatory penalties that add to the "already high cost of doing business," The Post reported. Lhota is hinting he might even lower property taxes.

The Republican argues that New York does not have a revenue problem. "We have a spending problem."

Lhota warns that de Blasio's big government campaign is taking a page directly out of the Marxist playbook. "Now we know why," he adds.

The Republican is referring to de Blasio's 1988 trip to then-Marxist, Sandinista-controlled, Nicaragua. De Blasio says that as a young man he worked with a group founded by Jesuits helping "needy people in Central America." He acknowledges he was "deeply influenced" by the radical ideas of "liberation theology."

With elections scheduled for November 5, de Blasio holds a commanding lead of 68 percent to 19 percent among those likely to vote, The New York Times reported.

Related stories:

De Blasio Worked for Sandinistas, Honeymooned in Cuba

Lhota Happy to Play Underdog in NYC Mayor's Race

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