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Crime And Punishment In New York Mayoral Contest

A sampling of editorials from around New York

Now Lhota, 58, is campaigning to be chief executive of the largest U.S. city warning that the days when the city suffered 2,000 homicides a year could come back. The son of a city cop, Lhota renewed his warnings after a week of sensational crimes. Polls show him running behind Democrat Bill de Blasio more than two-to-one. Its not easy for Republicans to get elected in New York, where Democrats outnumber them by more than six-to-one. Yet for 20 years the city has been run by non-Democrats, each getting elected under extraordinary circumstances. Giuliani became mayor amid a historic crime wave fueled by an epidemic of addiction to crack-cocaine, and after a riot of exploded tensions between blacks and Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that made him the brunt of criticism. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose third and final term ends Dec. 31, won as a Republican in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with Giulianis endorsement. FBI statistics depict New York as the safest big city in the U.S., with murders down 37 percent 11 years after Giuliani was mayor to 417 last year.

But the Republican House vote to cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program what used to be called food stamps is an example of misguided legislators being penny-wise and pound foolish. The most obvious reason why the move was a waste of time is its likelihood of being signed into law; the Democrat-controlled Senate doesn’t appear likely to strip food stamps from their usual place in the farm bill, and President Barack Obama issued a veto threat before the House vote. But the House’s insistence on passing symbolic gestures means it didn’t have time to reconcile its bill with that of the Senate by today, the day the current farm bill is set to expire. There’s also the question of whether it’s moral to take food benefits away from needy Americans at a time when the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7.6 percent and when Congress has done little in recent memory to stimulate demand or reduce unemployment. But aside from the question of morality, cutting food stamps at a time when consumer spending is sputtering is just bad economics. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 97 percent of food stamps are spent within 30 days, which makes them one of the quickest ways the federal government can stimulate demand. That, of course, isn’t the purpose of food stamps, which are intended primarily to alleviate the worst effects of poverty and underemployment. But perhaps it’s a misunderstanding about the point of food stamps that’s behind the House GOP’s efforts to gut the program. “In the real world, we measure success by results,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., in voting for the cuts last week.

New York state a steal? Yep, in this key insurance category

New York, Superstorm Sandy, SBA

Yep, in this key insurance category Enlarge Bloomberg Despite last year’s Super Storm Sandy that left significant damage along New York’s coast line, residents are only seeing 1.1% increases in homeowner policy rates after they file their first claim. On Monday, we discussed why banking in New York City is actually more affordable than other areas of the country, thanks to a Bankrate.com survey. But that’s not the only area where New York is a surprising bargain. Bankrate’s sister comapny, InsuranceQuotes.com , released a study this morning that shows New York State residents with homeowner policies see only a 1.1% hike a on average–in their insurance rates after they make their first claim on said policy. That number is quite low. New York is only bested by Texas, which by law does not allow insurance providers to bolster rates at all after a policyas first filed claim. The national average for rate increases after an initial claim is filed is a 7.9% bump from New Yorkas stat at 9%. Despite a large number of New York residents who saw protected property damaged by last yearas Super Storm Sandy , the state has managed to stay far away from the rate increases of Minnesota, which leads the nation with 21.2% premium hikes on average after a single claim is filed. Residents of neighboring New Jersey sit right at the average with approximately 9% increases after an inaugural claim is filed . Because of states like that, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, Laura Adams urged U.S. residents to weigh their options before filing damages to covered properties with their provider. aHomeowners should think very carefully about whether or not to make a claim,a she said via a release. aLetas say you have a $1,000 deductible and the claim is going to lead to a 20% rate hike; itas probably not worth making a modest-sized claim.a Page 1

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