Commentary

The state's largest public union is right. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to "smooth" pensions for local governments and school districts is "a bait-and-switch scheme ... that will allow public employers to underfund their pension obligations," as the Civil Service Employees Association described it last week. Read More

A few days before his latest state budget presentation, Gov. Cuomo did his best to dampen expectations that it would produce any surprises, telling The Post’s Fred Dicker: “I’m going to be taking it as more of an opportunity for what we can be doing affirmatively, but there’s not going to be any major problems revealed.” Read More

From New York’s standpoint, the best that can be said of last week’s federal tax hike is that it could’ve been worse. Taxes on the wealthy went up, but “wealthy” was defined as an adjusted gross income starting around $500,000 for married couples, instead of at the $250,000 level favored by President Obama. At least 150,000 New York state households, including small business owners, were thus let off the rate-hike hook — for now, at least. Read More

By the time they near the end of their second year in office, it’s not unusual for first-term governors to shift their focus from tackling problems to taking bows — and Gov. Cuomo certainly has been no exception. Read More

New York’s Medicaid program is now testing, on a small and limited scale, giving people financial incentives and requiring compliance in changing their behavior. The approach has promise — if done right; it’s important to keep in mind the lessons of welfare reform. Read More

Don’t look now, but a quick deal to sidestep the federal government’s fiscal cliff could end up pushing New York state to the edge of its own precipice. Yet top New York officials seem oblivious to a wave of federal tax hikes due to hit the state’s tax base as soon as next month. Read More

New York operates the largest network of programs for the poor in the nation. It serves more than 5 million Medicaid clients at a cost of $54 billion annually. Read More

One year ago, as Andrew Cuomo was about to wrap up his first year in the New York governor's office, the governor and state legislative leaders agreed on a series of personal income tax provisions they described in a joint news release as "fair tax reform that achieves the first major restructuring of the tax code in decades." Read More

Sooner or later, New York will recover from the physical effects of this week’s super-storm, just as it did from the cataclysm of 9/11. Read More

By capping property taxes, Gov. Cuomo has tapped the brakes on local government and school spending outside New York City. He’s also taken steps to limit the growth in the local share of Medicaid over the next few years, and to curb public pension expenses further down the road. 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.

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