by Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz
Kudos to Ms. Joanna Molloy from the New York Daily News for her sharp warning to us in Saturday’s column, New Yorkers rip Bloomberg on crash tax, say he's 'bleeding the middle class' dry.
Her comparison of Mayor Bloomberg’s intention to allow the FDNY to bill drivers involved in accidents to the Emperor Nero’s tax on urine collectors may sound grotesque. According to history, Nero’s son complained about the gross nature of that tax. A gold coin was held high before him and a voice of authority stated: “This doesn’t stink.”
Well, my friends, if we hold Mayor Bloomberg’s plan up to the light, it does stink.
It stinks that people who need help may not call for help.
It stinks that anyone injured in a car accident where the car goes on fire would have to worry if he or she has an extra $415 in the bank before calling the FDNY for help.
It stinks that under-privileged New Yorkers could decide to leave the scene of an accident just to avoid paying a $490 ‘crash’ tax.
It stinks that the number of hit and runs could go up.
It stinks that taxi drivers and truck drivers would have new worries added to their already difficult lives.
It stinks that fender benders where the drivers (thankfully) have no injuries and are reported by a third party could cost drivers $365 for the ambulance that shows up.
It stinks that needy New Yorkers may vow to never call 911 again even in the case of medical emergency because of this preposterous plan.
The men and women who work in New York’s firehouses, drive emergency vehicles and respond to accidents are our heroes and heroines.
It stinks to think that Mayor Michael Bloomberg could exploit the relationship between New York’s Bravest and New York residents by sending a bill from the FDNY to accident victims.
It stinks that our Mayor or anyone could even think of pitting emergency care workers – our heroes and heroines – against the public.
Back to Ms. Molloy’s reference to Nero … we’ve all heard the expression: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”
Let’s hope that Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not take up the fiddle anytime soon.