2001-10-18 / Other News

From The Desk Of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani...

From The Desk Of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani...

From The Desk Of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani...

City Will Meet Current Challenges And Triumph

Last week, I took part in a memorial service at the site of the former World Trade Center, marking the one-month anniversary of the attacks of September 11th.

As our nation’s thoughts and prayers focus on the brave men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way to bring justice to those responsible for the attacks, we recognize that we have begun a new phase of dealing with this tragedy.

New Yorkers are now facing the long-term task of rebuilding our lives and rebuilding our City. We need to do so with confidence and reason. The scale of loss has been devastating, but the spirit of unity in our City is more than up to meeting this challenge. We are blessed that we are beginning this process from a position of historic economic strength.

The past eight years have been a time of unprecedented economic growth in New York City. We gained over 450,000 jobs, marking the first time in recent history that job growth in New York City has outpaced the rest of the state or the nation. Investors once again have confidence in the fundamental fiscal strength of our City, and confidence in our future. This is best evidenced by the fact that earlier this month, in the aftermath of the devastating World Trade Center attacks, New York City completed its most successful debt-offering ever, receiving orders in excess of $4 billion for $1 billion in one-year notes. If this tragedy had occurred ten years ago, it is hard to believe that our City would have been able to assemble that degree of financial support in as short a time.

As New Yorkers, we need to apply the lessons of history to our current crisis and the long-term recovery effort. We know that the policies of high taxes and irresponsible spending - of budget deficits and high street crime - led to our City’s decline. We know that cutting taxes and cutting dependency on government - creating budget surpluses and aggressively reducing crime - led to the renaissance of New York City. As we look to our future, and face the greatest challenge of our times, we need to heed those lessons more than ever before.

In order to make up for the estimated $1 billion in losses stemming from the World Trade Center attacks, I have directed City agencies to cut $1 billion in spending and have implemented an immediate hiring freeze. I know that the City can find $1 billion in cuts, while still maintaining the highest level of service of any municipal government in the country. Past lessons have proven to us that lowering taxes and controlling government spending best solves fiscal problems. We should not only balk at the idea of raising taxes, we should also do what we can to build on our record of lowering taxes. This will stimulate growth and send a signal to businesses and individuals that New York City remains a great place to invest in your future.

New York City produces more revenue for the Federal government than any other city, and in fact, it sends $9 billion more to the government than it gets back each year. In light of this and the recent setbacks that our economy has suffered, I urge the State and Federal government to consider readjusting their tax formulas to be fairer to New York City and to give people the opportunity to spend money In our local economy. We are not asking for a handout, but we are asking for equity. Just as we recognize the importance of a strong American economy to the well being of New York City, so should the State and Federal government realize the importance of a strong and healthy New York City economy.

Our economy will remain strong and steady just as New Yorkers have stood strong in the face of this immense challenge. By moving forward and continuing to build upon the successful steps taken by our city over the past eight years, we will once again meet the challenges we face and triumph over this most difficult of circumstances.

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