Cuomo Comes Clean
Gov. Cuomo just made an astonishing confession: New Yorkers pay sky-high local income and property taxes because that’s what he and other elected officials want. “New York is a high-tax state, yes,” the governor said in an interview Wednesday on National Public Radio.
With a nod to other high-tax states like California and Connecticut, he added, “That’s a decision our states have made” and “that is how we finance our government.”
By the gov’s account, New York taxes are so high because “we believe in providing social services and free college tuition, etc.”
Of course, other states provide most of those same services — but without spending anywhere near as much, and thus without taxpayers footing so high a bill.
Nor do low-tax states grant pay and benefits to government workers on a level more lavish than most private-sector workers can dream of.
Yes, New York’s elected officials have con- sciously chosen to spend big — as a way of buying peace and political support from the state’s over-powerful public unions.
All this comes as Cuomo, eyeing a White House run, has been ramping up the overheated rhetoric against the GOP tax plan over its elimination or limiting of deductions on those through-the-roof taxes.
It’s a “rape and pillage” of New York, he’s said, and any member of Congress who votes for it is “a Benedict Arnold.” Please.
The governor’s concern isn’t for middleclass New Yorkers but his own financial bottom line: Losing the deductions ends the federal habit of shielding the rich from those taxes local politicians “decided” to impose.
If wealthy New Yorkers choose to flee to states where officials make more sensible decisions about taxes, Cuomo’s ability to finance that lavish spending vanishes, blowing a big hole in his budget.
Maybe it’s time for Albany “leaders” to start making decisions that benefit all New Yorkers — not just their political allies.