Port Authority Head Rips Gingrich, Reagan & Tea Party In Manhattan Speech

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The head of the agency that owns the World Trade Center site and runs the New York region’s airports and other transportation infrastructure took aim Tuesday at the Tea Party movement and others who would slash government spending.

“Unfortunately, you cannot always do more with less,” said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Chris Ward. “Sometimes you simply must do more. And until that reality becomes part of our political conversation, we’re going to continue to be playing catch-up with the rest of the world.”

Speaking to a construction industry luncheon in Manhattan, Ward said that despite his “vaunted optimism,” Ronald Reagan “launched a darker strain in American politics, that somehow government itself was the problem. And unfortunately the notion that we could always do more with less.”

Ward said that strain ran through Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” tax-reform advocate Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge, “and I will say clearly and candidly to the tea party of today.”

Ward earlier gave the audience an update on rebuilding at the trade center site, where a memorial to those who died will open next month on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks.

He said that while he is hopeful about the rebuilding effort, “I must share that I do not have the same optimism for both the city and the country going forward.”

The Port Authority board voted this month to raise tolls at its bridges and tunnels. Ward had pushed for higher increases. He said projects like revamping LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports will have to be deferred.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Cicero

    Another fat, worthless bureaucrat trying to explain away his incompetence and mismanagement. After all, it’s not his money. Its mine and yours. What does he care? He’s complaining because he needs more of it and there is finally some political resistance to him and his ilk. Judging from the photo, he’d better stick with the salads at those luncheons.

  • PortAuthorityMoneyPit

    Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh, I need more of YOUR money to operate my business” “Waaaaaahhhhhh, how else can my employees retire at 50 with six figure annual incomes for life” ” Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Give me more of YOUR money” “WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DCLaw-1

    As a long time, senior Fed, it is my humble opinion he is partially correct. Government is great at matters involving defense and security. Despite visious criticisms and rhetoric, no nation or covilization in the history of mankind does defense and security better than the US. Imagine how good it would be if the Federal Government focused only on those pwers delegated to it by the Constitution. What the Government does not do good is social engineering. one need only look at the state of the inner cities. Decades after FDR and LBJ, the inner cities are worse than ever. Social engineering would be better left to the local and state governments. While part of the delegated powers of the Fed are ensuring the flow of interstate and foreign commerce (including airports and seaports), these projects could be completed at a much lower costs if not for overbearing environmental permitting procedures, and labor union inteference. We do not need to spend more, we need to streamline and unhinder projects from the weight of red tape and inefficient labor models. Ok, I am rambling now…… But, just my own opinion

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  • IgnoranteElephante

    You’re right this guy is a real public servant, a regular Joe Fireman. Let’s be honest. He’s an executive of a for profit public authority, no better than one of you hated Wall Street fat cats. When he talks about spending, what he really wants to say is the tax payers have to give us more for less services.

    This slob’s Port Authority runs three of the most dysfunctional airports in th world and the George Washington Bridge. If you travelled you’d know that bridge is considered “moving” when there is 40 minute delays.

    How about before he points fingers he accounts for over forty years of mismanagement? If he can justify, via generally accepted accounting principles, where his agency squander public money, then I say give him whatever he wants.

    Instead of blindly towing the liberal party line with their baseless talking pints, why don’t you actually learn the issues. Here’s a man complaining about “more with less” when his agency has consistently done less with more to the detriment of the tax payer.

  • michaelfury
  • CaptainAmerica

    Take this in the proper context: he’s just another “tax & spend” political hack.

  • P

    A construction industry luncheon, that’s where Chris Ward was speaking. Construction industry partnered with private sector contracts or city contracts? Of course they want more tax money for bigger government!

  • elwood

    Somebody Ace him.

  • DP

    This guy has successfully diverted attention from the gobs of $’s he gets in increases for tolls, fare hikes, and then from subsidies taken from non-riders, and in spite of all these increases, still ends up being in the black. For these failures, he wants to blame Ronald Reagan?

    • Vince

      FARE HIKES that were needed since the fed cut back funds

  • DanTe

    If this boob hates somebody, that somebody must be doing something RIGHT.

  • Don JUan

    Somehow Reagan avoided impeachment despite that he funneled money and arms to Central America in violation of Federal law?

  • mj

    reagan was one of our WORST presidents …. exactly WHAT did he do besides make some RICH , WHITE americans more wealthy ? oh yes thats right his administration made bin laden what he was

  • $14please

    I’ve heard people say, right or wrong, that there’s bloated fat-cats at the Port Authority, and its a patronage-filled & unregulated autonomous semi-governmental agency… that’s mostly under NJ rule since its brought the Shipping/Container industry to NJ & built the WTC as a long-ago trade-off? (And that NJ rule is a mega problem for NYC’s airports, WTC site, etc.). Anyone in NY with a set? Anyone in Congress looking into it? Do they have to? Maybe these Tea Party-types can open a hearing and let the Top Guy have his say — and open the Books of the place?

  • Padraig

    This guy told the truth, probably knowing that he will be attacked from every side by know-nothing foot-stomping whining crybaby teabaggers who resent paying taxes but would throw a hissy fit if ever they needed a government service and found it was not available to them — instead of blaming it on irresponsible tax cuts for the uber-wealthy they would focus their anger on the poor, minorities and anyone else they delude themselves into feeling superior to.

  • ed wood

    Another gov’t bureaucrat who couldn’t run a lemonade stand if his own money was at stake but never met a taxpayer’s dollar that he couldn’t spend. I’d love to know how much he is ripping off the taxpayers for between his salary and pension.
    Keep it up. In a few years the only people living in NYC will be the rich including the public sector unions and the poor.

    • Padraig

      So anyone who works to serve the public and collects a salary is ripping off the taxpayers? I guess you think Eric CAN’Tor and Weepy John Boehner should eschew their salaries — but then again, they probably could afford to as they are well rewarded by their corporate masters.

      • Reagan Patriot

        Do you live under the same rock that Ward does? It is not about everyone in the public sector ripping off taxpayers, it is about taxpayers being ripped off by irresponsible and incompetent individuals in the public sector that never spent a day of surviving in the private sector. Always receiving the handouts from government and not feeling the least bit accountable for spending money in a responsible manner. But absolutely no hesitation in going back and asking for more.

    • Padraig

      Reagan Patriot???? ROFLMFAO!!! Reagan was no patriot. He was a spokesmodel for corporate interests and nothing more. A puppet with alzheimer’s whose most famous act was busting a union — the first shot in the all-out war against working Americans waged by the uber-wealthy CEOs and financiers. Reagan was unAmerican.

  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

    Hey… we’d all like to be given a blank check to do our jobs, but , lets get real and wake up from this liberal’s fantasy! the port authority is probably one of the 3 top mismanaged institutions in the tri-state area – and that’s saying something! if you don’t like the rules – quit your job! yea…. I didn’t think so!

    • Padraig

      Great let’s fire all the liberals and put GOP cronies in their places, then wonder what went wrong when Brownie does a heckuva job while people are dying and and entire city crumbles. Teabaggers are nihilistic — after us, the deluge!

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