New Yorkers know a thing or two about taking responsibility — on the job, with our families and in our communities. We do our part for each other. But as our city braces for its worst fiscal crisis in two generations, asking Albany to increase the city’s borrowing capacity is a premature move that passes the buck to future generations instead of taking responsibility now.
I understand, all too well, the fiscal and political headwinds into which New York City is racing. As President Obama’s budget director, I oversaw our nation’s $4 trillion in annual spending. I stepped into this role in the aftermath of the then-worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We made significant investments in areas that grew the economy and increased opportunity, while expanding health care and improving education.
When I was Obama’s HUD secretary, we helped families rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, fought racial discrimination and dramatically reduced homelessness among families and veterans. And we did this while bringing down the federal deficit faster than at any time since World War II.
I speak from experience when I say a national emergency deserves a national response: Congress needs to step up and expand relief for cities and states now.