Commentary

With the election of New York's governor just seven weeks away, Democrat Eliot Spitzer and Republican John Faso have released plans to reform Medicaid and rein in its soaring costs. But given their timid suggestions, New Yorkers should hardly expect any significant drop in Medicaid's skyrocketing budget or savings from lower property taxes. Read More

Natural disasters and economic crises can often bring out the best in people. But they also have a way of bringing out the worst in politicians as typified by the way some New York state legislators have reacted to the latest series of increases gasoline prices. Read More

From the perspective of Labor Day 2006, employment and wage trends in New York since the beginning of this decade could be described as a tale of two sectors: private and public. Read More

The recent enactment of sweeping changes in federal laws governing private pension plans, the issuance of a scathing auditors' report on the collapse of San Diego's pension fund, and the disclosure of potential shortfalls in New York City's pension funds all point to what should be the nation's next big target for financial reform. Read More

New York’s state and local governments provide their retired employees with continuing health insurance coverage on the same basis as active workers, at benefit levels far more generous than those available to taxpayers employed in the private sector. Read More

In Mario Cuomo's last year as governor, New Yorkers' combined state and local tax burden was 13.7 percent of their income—fully 3.2 percentage points above the national average, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. As of 2005, the Tax Foundation estimates, the Empire State's combined tax burden is down to 12 percent—1.9 percentage points above the national average. Read More

In a budget " cleanup bill" they adopted before adjourning two weeks ago, state legislators effectively plunked about $1 billion worth of rum soaked cherries on what was already a massive New York style cheesecake of fiscal excess. Read More

Some of the more ballyhooed changes are so small they may escape a typical taxpayer's notice. For example, if your family owns two cars and drives a lot, the repeal of sales taxes on gasoline purchases over $2 per gallon may save you a whopping $30 over the course of a year. Read More

As the state's 2006 legislative session winds down, it appears Senate lawmakers won't vote on a proposed bill that would require large companies to provide comprehensive health care benefits to their workers. Read More

Mayor Bloomberg has opened negotiations with the city's largest union by asking for pension concessions like those rejected by transit workers before their walkout in December. Read More