New Yorkers mad as hell at President Obama's decision to slash city's anti-terror fundsBy Matthew Lysiak, Michael Mcauliff and Corky Siemaszko
May 14, 2010
What is Washington thinking?
That's the question New Yorkers of all stripes were asking Thursday after the Obama administration slashed $53 million from the city's terror-fighting budget - a dozen days after a botched plot to bomb Times Square.
"Who is making these decisions?" asked Lance Orton, one of the two vigilant vendors who sounded the alarm. "I think it's messed up that Nebraska got millions of dollars for their police officers and New York is getting peanuts."
Former NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Timoney said everyone but Washington understands New York is the world's top terror target.
"The funding should be based on risk analysis," he said.
Coincidentally, Northwestern University researchers released a study yesterday suggesting New York should get $15 million to $92 million more security money - not less.
Their findings were based on how the feds allocated homeland security funds to the 10 biggest cities from 2005 through last year - and factored in the likelihood of a terrorist attack.
Stung by criticism he shortchanged New York, President Obama made a surprise stop at 1 Police Plaza, vowing to "make sure that you are getting the support you need to protect this great city."
Mayor Bloomberg "made the case" for more anti-terror cash in a private meeting with the President, a source said.
In Washington, White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro insisted federal stimulus funds will make up for cuts to the port and transit security grants.
Meanwhile, a federal official noted New York barely tapped its $49 million federal grant for port security last year - and has yet to spend a cent from the $147 million it was given to secure the subway.
Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) accused the White House of "playing games with numbers."
Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said they would press for more funds next month, when the feds dish out another pot of security cash.
In Times Square, electrician Ryan Rauert said now is not the time to skimp on New York's safety.
On the No. 1 subway train, M.J. Fahey of the Bronx predicted Obama would rescind the cuts.
And if he doesn't? "The President's going to be getting out of town fast," she said. "It's bad timing."