Cuomo Comes Clean

New York Post - - POSTOPINION -

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.

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