Michael Bloomberg is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. That's the gist of a sharply worded speech New York's mayor gave Wednesday attacking partisanship in Washington and calling for government to "chart a middle way" out of the ongoing recession.
Slamming lawmakers who revel in political posturing but offer no solutions, Bloomberg put forth an ambitious plan for stimulating the economy -- calling for tax cuts for business, better trade agreements, more funding for job training and fundamental changes to regulations, The New York Times
"Last month, voters turned against Democrats in Washington for the same reason they turned against Republicans in 2006," the mayor told a group of city business leaders in Brooklyn. "Democrats now, and Republicans then, spent more time and energy conducting partisan warfare than forging centrist solutions to our toughest economic problems."
Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and political independent, has been whispered about as a possible third party candidate for president. He has dismissed such rumors and did so again on Wednesday, telling
"I'm not going to run for president, period," he said. "End of story."
But the The Washington Post
said if Bloomberg does end up running, "his speech Wednesday may be seen as the first volley in the battle."
From the Post:
He attacked the "ideologues on the left" for clinging to the belief that taxing and spending can restore prosperity and for holding a government-knows-best approach to creating jobs. He attacked "ideologues on the right" for entrusting all faith in the free market and writing off any significant role for government in shaping the environment in which the economy can flourish. ...
Bloomberg identified the symptoms of dysfunctional politics: partisan gridlock, political pandering, legislative influence peddling, finger-pointing, blame games and endless attacks.
Centrist solutions to national problems, Bloomberg said, are the only way to keep the U.S. as a global superpower. "When did cooperation in government become treason?" he asked.