Michael Bloomberg

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Michael Bloomberg in 2011

Michael Bloomberg (born 14 February 1942) was elected Mayor of New York City in 2001. He ran for re-election in 2005 and won a second term. He was frequently mentioned as a possible independent candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election, but did not run.




  • “By any yardstick, a higher percentage of New York City high school students are graduating now than at any time in decades. The rate has risen every year during this administration and is an important validation of our reforms, w:Chancellor Klein’s leadership, and the hard work of our students, principals, and teachers. The rate obviously remains far too low, but the gains demonstrate that our hard work to raise student achievement is paying off, and we are beginning to turn around a failing system.” [1]
  • On his performance in college: "I was the one of those students who made the top half of the class possible." [2]
  • The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations, not to run away from them. A micro-aggression is exactly that : micro. But in a macro sense, one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is the so-called 'safe space', because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views. We can't, and we shouldn't try—not in politics or in the workplace. Graduates, in the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess.
    • Commencement Address given at the Universiy of Michigan, Ann Arbor (30 April 2016), as recorded on Youtube

Energy Reform

  • "We need to inject some old-fashioned American values and common-sense, practical thinking into our energy policy." [3]
  • "In 1975, Congress passed a law requiring fuel efficiency standards to double over 10 years, with incremental targets that auto manufacturers were required to meet. That was the responsible approach, and it worked. But since 1985, we’ve done nothing — even as technology has moved at light speed." [4]
  • "Any friend of fossil is a friend of mine. … We've got to do everything we can to get people out of their automobiles and into mass transit." [5]


  • "If they don't act, we will. Shame on them but we cannot sit around and watch our environment deteriorate and put this world in jeopardy. We are willing to stand up, we think it is one of the seminal issues of our time." [6]
  • "As the city continues to grow, the costs of congestion – to our health, to our environment, and to our economy – are only going to get worse. The question is not whether we want to pay but how do we want to pay. With an increased asthma rate? With more greenhouse gases? Wasted time? Lost business? And higher prices? Or, do we charge a modest fee to encourage more people to take mass transit?" [7]
  • "In New York City, a lot of people think 'the great outdoors' is the area between your front door and a taxi cab." [8]

Faith Based Science

  • "It boggles the mind that nearly two centuries after Darwin, and 80 years after John Scopes was put on trial, this country is still debating the validity of evolution." [9]
  • Today, we are seeing hundreds of years of scientific discovery being challenged by people who simply disregard facts that don’t happen to agree with their agendas. Some call it "pseudo-science," others call it "faith-based science," but when you notice where this negligence tends to take place, you might as well call it "political science." [10]
  • "It's scary in this country, it's probably because of our bad educational system, but the percentage of people that believe in Creationalism is really scary for a country that's going to have to compete in the world where science and medicine require a better understanding." [11]

Gun Control

  • "Most gun dealers follow the law and run honest businesses. But the statistics show that 1 percent of dealers sell more than half of all illegal guns. Why isn't the federal government going after them? Here's one reason: unlike mayors, members of Congress don't get a phone call in the middle of the night when a cop is shot and killed. They don't deliver the eulogies."[12]
  • "Even though New York is the safest big city in the nation, there are still far too many illegal guns on our streets. Nearly all of them arrive from out of state – and most are sold by a small group of rogue gun dealers who refuse to obey federal laws." [13]

Homeland Security

  • On fears arising after the foiling of an alleged plot to blow up a fuel pipeline beneath JFK airport: "There are lots of threats to you in the world. There's the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can't sit there and worry about everything. Get a life."[14]


  • "What you’ve got to do is be honest. Say what you believe. Give it to them straight. Just don’t wuss out." [15]

Illegal Immigration

  • "We're not going to deport 12 million people, so let's stop this fiction." [16]
  • "Nobody’s going to go home for a year and come back. Nobody could ever enforce that. Nobody in their right mind would ever try to do it.”[17]
  • "I know that many Irish-born New Yorkers are caught in the trap of our federal immigration policies. If we are going to continue to attract the best and the brightest - and Ireland has more than its fair share - we need to inject some common sense into our immigration laws, and I'm doing my best to make that case in Washington." [18]

Intelligent Design Theory


New York City

  • "We've shown the world that New York can never be defeated, because of its dynamic and diverse population and because it embodies the spirit of enterprise and the love of liberty. And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you." [20]
  • "We're the world's second home, the place where every religion is practiced and every culture is celebrated." [21]
  • "New York has been, and will continue to be, a magnet for people from all over the world. This is where the arts, business, research and technology converge to create the world's foremost urban economy."[22]
  • "If it wasn't for O'Flanagan's Pub on Manhattan's Upper East Side, I don't know where I would have spent my Friday nights as a young man." [23]


  • "There will be ups, there will be downs, there will be sideways. I can just tell you I have been hired, I have been fired, I have been lauded, I have been vilified. I've said some of the most brilliant things that just by accident appeared on my tongue, and I’ve said some of the dumbest things that you could imagine. But each day - even the day that I knew I was going to be fired - I looked forward to because I've always believed that tomorrow was going to be the best day of my life." [24]


  • "My father, a bookkeeper who never earned more than $11,000 a year in his life, sat there, writing out a $25 check to the NAACP. When I asked him why, he said discrimination against anyone is discrimination against us all. And I never forgot that. Indeed, his philanthropy was a gift, not just to that organization, but to me." [25]
  • "Most people won’t have opportunity to do full-time service, but those lucky enough to have monetary wealth or some spare time really can make an enormous difference. As someone who’s now in the public sector, and is seeing up-close-and-personal the real impact of what we do and what we give, I can tell you: every dollar and every volunteer help, in more ways than you can count." [26]


  • In response to criticism from Democratic mayoral candidates for appearing at a 2004 event for the Independence Party: "To all the critics who are rushing out to criticize me tonight, criticize me for being here tonight, let me point out that this night is about the one million New Yorkers who are denied the most basic rights by the two major political parties." [27]
  • "We all know that election reform takes time. That’s because those who have benefited from the system are the ones who fight hardest to preserve it. So if we’re going to succeed, we need an independent coalition of citizens who believe in reform, who believe that our election laws should treat every voter equally, who believe that low levels of competition and participation are not healthy for democracy. The Independence Party is helping to build that coalition and I am happy to join you in doing so." [28]
  • “I don't know if Bernie Madoff got his idea from there, but if there's ever a Ponzi scheme, people say Madoff was the biggest? Wrong. Social Security is, far and away,"


2008 Presidential Debates

  • "The press really is not doing its job of holding [the candidates'] feet to the fire. … The tough questions are not what are you in favor of, but how are you going to get it through Congress?" [30]

Presidential Prospects

  • "Nobody's going to elect me president of the United States." [31]

Election Reform

  • "If you want to get the best people to run for office, we’ve got to make the rules easier, and simpler, and more understandable to get on the ballot." [32]
  • "Government by three men in a room has turned New York State into a national symbol of governmental dysfunction. Enough is enough!" [33]

Health Care

  • "...[W]e’re paying more for the privilege of getting sick and dying early. Once again, it makes no sense. And once again, no one in Washington is talking about how to fix it."[34]

On His Declaration to Leave the GOP

  • "Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city." [35]


  • "I believe we can turn around our country’s current, wrong-headed course, if we start basing our actions on ideas, shared values, and a commitment to solve problems without regard for party."[36]
  • "When you go to Washington now, you can feel a sense of fear in the air – the fear to do anything, or say anything, that might affect the polls, or give the other side an advantage, or offend a special interest."[37]
  • "Neither party has God on its side, a monopoly on good ideas, or a lock on any single fiscal, social, or moral philosophy."[38]
  • "Partisanship may be King in Washington – but the rest of us don’t have to pay tribute."[39]

Running a Business vs. Running a City

  • "One's a dog-eat-dog world, and the other one's just the opposite." [40]
  • "Too often, failing government agencies get bigger budgets, while successful agencies have their budgets cut – because government caters to those screaming the loudest, regardless of what they’re screaming about. In business, it’s exactly the opposite! You invest more in the most successful departments, and less in those that aren’t performing."[41]

State of America

  • "Our reputation has been hurt very badly in the last few years. We've had a go-it-alone mentality in a world where because of communications and transportation, you should be going exactly in the other direction." [42]
  • "Leading from the front: It’s what built America. But these days, the federal government isn’t at the front – it’s cowering in the back corner of the room, ducking responsibility and hoping no one notices."[43]

Why He Was Elected Mayor

  • "I was elected to be independent. I was elected because I owed no political debts. I was elected to “do the job,” and not to spend my first four years in office campaigning. I’ve kept that promise -- and that’s why we face the future with renewed optimism." [44]
  • “Others may doubt us. They may criticize us. They may try to deny us what is rightfully ours. But they will fail. And I promise you, as long as I am mayor, I will never back away from fighting any opponent -- or confronting any obstacle -- that would prevent our people from achieving all of their dreams in Our New York.” [45]


  • "The federal poverty measurement … hasn't been changed since it was first introduced in 1964. … [T]he formula [doesn't] indicate that we've made any gains in fighting poverty. … [Yet] we have made real progress in fighting poverty and raising living standards since the 70s. … The poverty formula … is bankrupt."[46]
  • On his controversial initiative "Opportunity NYC": "Now, you might say, 'why should we pay people for doing what they're supposed to do?' It's a fair question -- but think of it this way. Every other anti-poverty program that's been tried has failed to get the national poverty rate below 11 percent. … Why shouldn't we experiment with a program built around the one strategy that has proven time and again to work wonders -- capitalism?"[47]
  • "Progress is not inevitable. It's up to us to create it."[48]

Speaking Out

  • "I’ve always wondered if people who block each other from expressing their opinions do so because they have so little confidence in their own. To me, encountering an opposing point of view is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the issues at stake... and develop my own point of view. But the first thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to let people speak and you’ve got to listen. And that’s what the first amendment is all about. That’s what really distinguishes this country from others." [49]

Stem Cell Research

  • Despite the potential to lead us to new cures, the federal government has restricted funding for creating new cell lines – putting the burden of any future research squarely on the shoulders of the private sector. The consequences of this decision have not only driven thousands of scientists overseas in search of more money and greater opportunity – but also put the brakes on the march of medicine. I’ve always wondered how these legislators would act if their health – or their children’s health – was on the line and stem cell research might lead to a cure." [50]
  • "Despite its potential, the federal government has restricted funding for creating new cell lines – putting the burden of any future research squarely on the shoulders of the private sector. Government’s most basic responsibility, however, is the health and welfare of its people, so it has a duty to encourage appropriate scientific investigations that could possibly save the lives of millions." [51]


  • "Taxes are not good things, but if you want services, somebody's got to pay for them so they're a necessary evil." [52]



  • Working collectively and collaboratively is the difference between mediocrity by yourself...or success as a team. You have to share the pain... and the responsibility... and if you do then you will also share in the rewards.

Quotes about Bloomberg

  • A guy who didn’t have the guts to run for president. Little Michael. He doesn’t know anything about me. But he never had the guts to run. He probably wished he did but he didn’t. He spent millions of dollars on polling but he was missing one thing: guts. Little Michael.
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