ELDER PATRIOT – The thirty-six year old story of New York City’s Wollman Rink does as much to explain establishment politicians’ fear of Donald Trump than just about anything else.
In 1980 the rink stopped freezing the ice. Over the next six years the City of New York poured $13 million into fixing it. The only thing that got “fixed” was the bank accounts of the government’s handpicked contractors.
Trump’s apartment overlooked Central Park and he grew weary of looking at the failed project so he approached NYC’s Mayor Ed Koch about letting him have a go at fixing the rink. Koch balked so Trump took his offer to the media and forced the mayor to relent.
Trump knew nothing about ice rinks but he knew everything about solving problems, especially construction problems. He gave his word the rink would be operational within six months and Koch gave him a $3 million budget with which to make it happen.
Trump completed the repairs inside of four months and only spent $2.25 million. Ahead of time and under budget! Taxpayers appreciate that but politicians and government bureaucrats don’t. Anything that threatens their ability to control government largesse also threatens their ability to maintain political power.
It is against this backdrop that Trump will face off against the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Newt Gingrich described the CBO this way:
“It is a left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism. Its scoring of ObamaCare was not just wrong, it was clearly corrupt. CBO literally brought in the architect of ObamaCare to be the adviser on scoring the very Obamacare legislation that he helped write. The score was a lie. It was so wrong it was totally indefensible. A year later the CBO produced a new score that was so much more expensive that it was clear ObamaCare would have been defeated if it had been the original score.”
One branch of government lies and the other swears to it. “In the four years during which I was Speaker of the House, CBO was consistently difficult to work with. If we hadn’t fought with them constantly we would never have balanced the budget,” Gingrich said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent demand that every Trump initiative be revenue neutral signals his intention to use the CBO to undermine the incoming president’s entrepreneurial agenda. Interpretation: we don’t want efficiency in government and we will use every artificial construct available to us to prevent it.
Trump resolved the problems at Wollman Rink for 1/5 the cost and in 1/18 the time that government fat cats had welcomed as standard operating procedure. Projects like these serve as slush funds from which politicians reward their donors.
The CBO is threatened by Trump’s ability and desire to cut through red tape to get things done in a timely a cost-effective manner. In fact, the model that the CBO uses deliberately has massive levels of the cost of red tape built into its scoring methodology. Imagine, their methodology deliberately builds in the costs of largesse! Such waste of taxpayer money can only be to curry the undying gratitude of establishment politicians.
Imagine if Trump is successful in duplicating the Wollman Rink model throughout government. Establishment politicians can’t bear the thought.