New York City Drops Dead for Joe Biden
Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s famous dictum – “You can’t have free immigration and a welfare state” – is playing out in New York City, which is spending nearly $5 million a day to house and feed thousands of migrants there.
Democrat Mayor Eric Adams claims that the crisis spawned by the Biden administration’s open-border policies has “destroyed” America’s financial capital. City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol calculates that Gotham taxpayers are shelling out an average of $363 per migrant, every day.
Adams’ complaint that the “national government has turned its back on [us]” echoes 1975 when President Gerald Ford refused to bail out the insolvent city and a Daily News headline screamed: “Ford to New York: Drop Dead.” Ford didn’t actually utter those words, and neither has Biden. But the bottom line is the same: A big-spending municipal government has dug itself into a hole, and it’s still digging.
New York politicians like Adams are being too modest in laying the blame solely on the White House. The mayor, his predecessor Bill DeBlasio and a host of others are making a bad situation worse by throwing open their gold-plated social-welfare programs to all comers. This year’s migrant services tab, estimated to hit $1.4 billion, is projected to double next year.
As they dole out benefits, city officials have applied for a $654 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. At the current cash-burn rate, that amount, if approved in full, would barely cover the city’s migrant tab through Labor Day.
The Biden administration invited this mess last December when it gutted long-standing U.S. public-charge laws. The Immigration and Nationality Act makes aliens seeking visas, admission or adjustment of status inadmissible if they are likely to become dependent on public assistance.
“This appears to be a brazen attempt to ignore congressional mandates and maximize welfare use among noncitizens in the United States,” Elizabeth Jacobs, of the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote at the time.
If Joe Biden is the maître d’hôtel admitting an unending stream of destitute migrants into the buffet line, Adams & Co. are the willing concierges, cooks and maids.
Somewhere Milton Friedman is saying, “I told you so.”