Commentary

When George E. Pataki first became governor in 1994, he made much of his humble origins on a farm in a small Hudson River community. And based on the vote totals, a large majority of New York City residents apparently dismissed him as a country bumpkin—or, at best, a suburban arriviste. Read More

Amid the hundreds of arcane laws enacted every year in Albany, how's a taxpayer to know which ones actually represent a huge favor to a powerful special interest group - with huge cost implications for the rest of us? Read More

With the ashes of September 11 still smoldering, Michael Bloomberg won his first New York mayoral term largely because city voters assumed that he would stick with Rudolph Giuliani’s most successful policies. Read More

Many state and local governments throughout the country - led by both Democrats and Republicans - have found that opening more public services to private competition can produce significant cost savings and quality improvements. Read More

Listening to Michael Bloomberg present the fourth budget of his mayoralty yesterday was like listening to a man having an argument with himself. The former CEO in the mayor's office made a strong case for doing more - much more - to downsize the city's exceedingly vast array of costly public services. Read More

After tweaking a few of their house rules and adopting a state budget on time for the first time in 20 years, many New York State legislators would have you believe they've fixed all or most of what's broken in Albany. Read More

The former U.S. senator from Nebraska moved to New York in 2001 to become president of the New School University. A Democrat, Kerrey reportedly was planning to endorse the reelection bid of the city's nominally Republican mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Read More

With or without Gov. Pataki's cooperation, state legislators are expected to finish passing a series of budget bills before the new fiscal year begins Thursday. Read More

High state and local taxes are widely recognized as a significant obstacle to stronger economic growth, especially for Upstate communities whose natural competitors are lower-cost regions of the Midwest and Southeast. Read More

Once the Legislature adopted a "temporary" personal-income-tax increase in 2003, it was only a matter of time before someone in Albany moved to make the tax hike permanent. Read More

Approaching what could turn out to be yet another stalemate with the Legislature, Governor Pataki says the last four years have been "the worst ... since the Great Depression" for New York State's finances. Read More

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About

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.