Multi-billionaire/former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly has advisors preparing plans for a possible independent presidential bid.
He’s unhappy about Trump’s likely Republican nomination and both Democrat contenders. Earlier, he considered a third-party run, deciding he couldn’t win.
What makes him think now is different, he’ll have to explain. Forbes reported his net worth at $38.1 billion as of October 2015. He indicated willingness to spend a billion dollars or more for a presidential bid.
Reportedly he’ll decide by early March, enough time to be on ballots in all 50 states. He commissioned a poll last month to see how he’d fare against Trump and Clinton. He plans another in early February.
His strategy appears to be to convince voters that a self-made, problem-solving (super-rich) businessman is America right choice today – much like Trump’s game plan, with a huge leg up on a potential late-to-the game challenger.
Bloomberg’s challenges are daunting. No independent candidate ever became president. America’s duopoly power system prevents it, assuring one-party rule.
Republicans and Democrats take turns, marching in lockstep on all major issues, serving wealth and power interests exclusively.
Bloomberg ideologically is no different. He didn’t become super-rich by being a nice guy. As mayor, he ignored public needs.
New York is one of America’s poorest large cities. Unemployment and underemployment are among the highest.
Most city workers lack pensions. Many earn sub-subsistence wages. Poverty is extremely high. It rose annually during Bloomberg’s tenure. City homelessness more than doubled on his watch.
Many others live in overcrowded substandard dwellings. Hard times getting harder forced large numbers to live with families or friends. Unaffordable rental prices created crisis conditions.
Bloomberg did nothing to address them. Unprecedented social polarization worsened on his watch. New York’s top 20% earns 40 times more than the bottom one-fifth. It’s top 1% earns infinitely more.
Bloomberg waged war on labor. Onerous tax burdens were imposed. Over $1 billion in public worker concessions were demanded.
Massive layoffs affected thousand of teachers, hundreds of firefighters and many other city workers. Dozens of senior centers and day care ones were closed.
Public wages were frozen or minimally increased. Benefits were cut. At the same time, Wall Street got generous ones on top of trillions of dollars of federal bailout funding.
Throughout his tenure, Bloomberg implemented numerous financial sector tax giveaways. Ordinary city residents got tax increases.
He and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly persecuted city Blacks and Latinos, intensifying racist stop and frisk practices.
He won elections the old-fashioned way, anointed by party bosses and Wall Street, outspending challengers multiple times over, drowning out opposition voices.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.