More on possible budget cuts

November 17, 2009 1:04:20 PM PST
Oh the spin is in full throttle. You can get mental whiplash trying to decipher the New York State Comptroller's report on the economy and Wall Street's role in it. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that the securities industry has "returned to profitability faster than expected." Thank you taxpayer bailouts.

But read the report itself and a dark reality emerges: New York City tax revenues from the financial services industry will likely fall nearly $2 billion, or about 40%, while State revenues will drop more than $4.5 billion, or 25-35%. Both sides of the spin equation are true: business is up, at least on Wall Street, but government revenues are down.

That's one reason why the City is now desperately trying to cut back, as Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday. And everybody's gonna get wet - schools, police, fire, every City agency. Did the Mayor have these cuts in mind before his closer-than-expected election two weeks ago today?

Hard to imagine that hizzoner, worth about $16 billion, give or take a billion or so, doesn't keep tabs on every penny that comes and goes. And so it's hard to imagine that he didn't know about the cuts when, for example, he debated his challenger Bill Thompson a week before the election.

Why not let people know what he had in mind for cuts? I'm just sayin'.

We'll have the latest on the budget, on the cuts and the economy, tonight at 11.

Speaking of the economy, the recession has shaken up so many people's careers and jobs. Tonight we look at how some folks are trying to make ends meet ? and turning tough times into an opportunity. Would you believe ? street vending? It's not exactly how many of them envisioned their work track heading, but on the street is where lots of people have ended up, working on the other side of a food or merchandise cart.

And they're discovering ? it can be a decent living. Lisa Colagrossi has our story.

We're also in the Bronx tonight, where all sorts of people are angry and worried ? after three shootings in two days. Our first two stories last night were about the shootings in the Bronx. The worst of it: a 15-year-old girl, shot in the head as she walked home from school. She was an innocent bystander.

Tonight, a vigil for the girl, who's in critical condition, and a vigil for the community that's in critical emotional condition. The NYPD may say that crime is down, but don't tell that to the folks who say they're terrified over this latest rash of violence. We talked to one dad last night who had to lie to his young son ? telling him the sound of gunfire was just fireworks ? so he could go to sleep without being scared.

And with Pres. Obama half way around the world, but beginning his journey home ? he is still weighing what to do in Afghanistan. And if he were to listen to the American people, they are apparently speaking loudly. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll, out tonight, shows that just 44% say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting ? the fewest in a question dating back nearly 3 years. And perhaps more significantly, 52% say the war has not been worth it ? that's up 13 points from its previous low a year ago.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast (can this nice weather continue? Let's hope!) and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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