In 1975, with New York City on the financial brink, President Gerald Ford responded to a desperate plea for help by telling the city in so many words to “Drop Dead.”
The famous headline of the day came to mind after President Biden snubbed Gov. Hochul when she showed up at the White House to demand federal help for the illegal-immigrant crisis swamping New York.
“Deal With It” is how The Post summed up the president’s cruel response.
Biden’s behavior reeks of the second coming of Ford, and it’s not the only current reminder of previous hard times.
In 1993, Staten Island secession fever reached a peak during a crime wave when it felt ignored by City Hall.
As if on cue, secession fever is building there again.
Staten Island Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis reflected the spirit after residents denounced City Hall’s plan to bus migrants to a shuttered Catholic school on the island.
“I think Staten Island would like to have the opportunity to self-govern,” she said.
Mark Twain’s observation that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” fits the moment.
With so many things out of whack at the same time, Hochul and Mayor Adams ought to learn from the past and realize their careers and legacies are sinking fast.
To be blunt, New York City and state are going through such a long, painful decline that each new leg down sounds like a death rattle.
So far, the mayor and the governor seem overwhelmed by the growing crises.
Worse, they often make things worse, the migrant mess being Exhibit A.
In fairness, Biden’s policies that effectively opened the southern border are the source of the problem.
He has allowed as many as 6 million illegals into America, most on bogus claims of asylum.
Nearly 110,000 newcomers are known to be in the five boroughs, 60,000 of them living completely at taxpayers’ expense.
It is far and away the largest immediate problem, but not the only one.
Crime and taxes, not to mention the rent, food and utilities, are still too damn high.
The legalization of marijuana , now being sold and used in public spaces, is the latest proof that no matter how bad things are, government finds ways to make them worse.
It is only minor comfort that for many New Yorkers, signs of the apocalypse spark a feeling of déjà vu.
But just because the city rose from the ashes before doesn’t guarantee it will again.
One major difference this time is that most urban areas across America are in serious decline.
Some have dug themselves into much deeper holes than New York and there is no sign the cavalry is coming to the rescue.
San Francisco appears determined to kill itself and Chicago keeps electing mayors who view massive crime and murder surges as rites of passage for young people.
But as the nation’s largest city and the world’s financial capital, New York remains unique and uniquely important.
The confidence that Gotham had a deep well of talent and advantages, and was too important to fail, inspired Giuliani and his successor, Michael Bloomberg , to forge a path out of the crime-and-poverty crisis three decades ago.
New York led the way forward then, but this time it appears to be following the crowd.
Here as elsewhere, the embrace of the destructive “defund the police” movement by some Democratic politicians and soft-on-crime prosecutors are teaching young people that violence, theft and other forms of misconduct are acceptable means of self-expression.
In his 2021 campaign, Adams courageously fought against that wing of his party, and his election raised hopes that New York would again emerge stronger and safer from its dance with death.
While he and the NYPD have made meaningful progress combatting crime, the job is far from finished.
Public disorder is still widespread and other problems have been allowed to fester, most notably the slow-motion collapse of the public school system. Student performance — and attendance — are falling off a cliff.
And yet Albany and City Hall decided this was a good time to make it easier for young people to get high before class.
Despite the flight of wealthy and middle-class New Yorkers to states that are safer and more sensible in their taxes and spending, the exodus has not been addressed in the halls of government.
Instead, one big action, in addition to marijuana everywhere, is congestion pricing, which isn’t about congestion as much as it is bailing out a subway system being riddled to death by fare beaters .
The MTA says the epidemic of cheating cost it $650 million last year, but instead of consistently enforcing the law, the pols resort to a punishing tax on those who don’t use the system!
Then came the migrants.
And they keep coming, with no end in sight.
Hochul, to her credit, gets one thing right.
She is refusing Adams’ petulant demand that she force a “right to shelter” on every city, town and hamlet so some of the city’s migrants can be shipped around the state, with no local right to refuse.
The idea of repeating the city’s revolting experience is naturally unpopular and it would be the end of her career if she agreed.
But to look as if she’s doing something, she is upping her criticism of Biden, though mostly over his refusal to pay for the mess his policies created.
That she and Adams agree on speeding up work permits for the migrants is no compliment to either.
On top of the city’s shelter requirement, allowing migrants to work soon after arriving would be an invitation for tens of thousands more, if not millions, to come to Gotham.
Maybe that’s the future.
Everyone else gives up and heads for the exits, and the migrants have the place to themselves.
The Intercept identifies itself as a news outlet “dedicated to holding the powerful accountable” and declares its journalists “expose corruption and injustice wherever they find it.”
Strange, then, that it is raising money with an overt appeal to stop Donald Trump .
An email asks, “Will you make a donation to support The Intercept’s ongoing reporting on the pro-Trump extremists in law enforcement agencies and the military undermining our constitutional rights and eroding democracy?”
That’s a hard way to raise money, especially when you have the same agenda as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Reader Charles Compton demands that the United Nations practice what it preaches.
He writes: “The UN has been advocating for open borders for decades and has a six-block campus in Turtle Bay. They could reconfigure their buildings to house migrants and provide health care and education. After all, since the global socialist ideology that contributed to this situation originally came from the UN, how can they refuse?”