John Lindsay might have been the worst mayor in NYC history. Epitome of the limousine liberal, Lindsay nearly bankrupted the Big Apple. But that hasn't stopped Jon Meacham from lauding Lindsay as "one of the greatest mayors in New York history." The former Newsweek editor bestowed the honorific title while appearing on today's Morning Joe.
Meacham's comment came in the context of grouping Lindsay with Mike Bloomberg as another NYC mayor who didn't deal well with a big snowstorm. But after noting that lapse, Meacham made amends with his GMINYH moniker.
After the jump, view the video and a description of Lindsay's absolutely disastrous record.
Read this article if you want the complete chapter-and-verse indictment of Lindsay's terrible tenure. The Cliff's Notes version comes in the form of this letter-to-the-editor in response to someone who, like Meacham, had praised Lindsay's record:
Re the article by Fred Hayes, "John Lindsay: Good mayor, great man": I don't think so. When Lindsay left office, New York City was on the brink of bankruptcy, although taxes had been raised and a city income tax instituted. During his term, the middle class fled to the suburbs in droves. Small- and medium-sized companies moved out, and major corporate headquarters relocated. Meanwhile, the welfare rolls skyrocketed from around 200,000 to more than 1 million.
Although the housing stock was already low, thousands of apartment houses were abandoned, due to a strictly enforced rent control policy.
In addition, the labor contracts that Lindsay signed with the unions were a disaster for years to come.
It is true that Lindsay limited riots, but it is also true that many outbreaks went unreported.
You call that a good mayor? Millions of New Yorkers will agree that he was one of the worst, and it took a long time for New York to recover from the Lindsay disaster.