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This Day in History, 1975

NYC Gets Federal Bailout

(Yes! More NYC history!)

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With New York City spiraling toward fiscal disaster, President Gerald Ford proposed a $2.3 billion aid package designed to address the city's "seasonal cash needs." The president's plan, passed a little less than a month later, made federal money available to New York in any of the ensuing three years. While Mayor Abraham D. Beame praised Ford's announcement, a few New Yorkers greeted the news with a Bronx cheer, grousing about the attendant tax hikes which threatened to further erode the city's private sector and drive away wealthy residents to tax havens in New Jersey. Whatever the merits of these complaints, the city, saddled with a multi-million-dollar deficit that threatened to balloon to $1.3 billion by March 1976, seemingly had little choice but to accept federal help.
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What I remember about all this, having been five years old with a father who worked at the Daily News, was the famous headline when Ford first turned the city down -- FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.

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