Commentary

Polling this month showed that two-thirds of the nation’s teachers would prefer to stay out of the classroom this fall, and teachers unions across America are poised to keep schools from reopening. The unions say the safety of their members is their top concern, yet, truth is, their bottom lines are just as critical. That’s because the pandemic represents their biggest financial threat since teachers won the right to stop paying them. Read More

"With massive budget deficits looming, Mayor de Blasio’s post-pandemic plan boils down to hoping for a stopgap federal bailout and asking Albany for permission to issue billions in deficit bonds. This won’t solve the problem. New York needed a much leaner, more efficient public sector even before the novel coronavirus blew a hole in its tax base." Read More

New York’s slow reopening has begun just in time for a virtual April 15 — Tax Day 2.0, pushed back three months by the novel-coronavirus pandemic. In a way, it’s the end of an era: The tax returns due to be filed on Wednesday will report incomes earned in 2019, the close of a decade-long economic expansion. Read More

Predicting doom and gloom for New York is all the rage. While we do face difficult fiscal choices for the next several years, those with skin in the game are contradicting this “death of New York” narrative — and offering a way out. Developers across the city are asking communities for nothing more than regulatory permission to add jobs, mixed-income housing and new high-quality public spaces. Yet just this week, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer denounced a multi-billion dollar investment in offices and homes in Long Island City — shortly after denouncing 2,700 new mixed-income homes in Astoria. Read More

New York is finally ahead of the coronavirus, but its outbreak stands as a world-wide horror story. A sophisticated city was caught unprepared and suffered some of the worst levels of infection and death. The need for an investigation is clear. The harder question is who can credibly take the lead. Read More

On April 2, with New York’s COVID-19 curve still rising ominously, state lawmakers wrapped up a budget almost unchanged from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pre-pandemic January proposal. With the economy in a coma and revenues crashing, the plan obviously was awash in red ink. Read More

With the coronavirus lockdown continuing to erode tax revenues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has turned up the volume on his demands for a federal bailout of the New York state budget. In a weekend briefing, the governor repeated his estimate that the Empire State will need help closing a deficit of $10 billion to $15 billion. “I don’t have any funding to do what I normally do,” he said. Read More

In case it wasn’t obvious from the headlines and body count, New York is currently suffering more severely from the coronavirus epidemic than almost anywhere else. Read More

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.