Commentary

The horrific attack on the World Trade Center will deal a severe blow to New York's economy and government revenues for some time. In one day, the city was plunged into its worst fiscal crisis since 1990 - which, if mismanaged, may yet become as bad as the brush with bankruptcy in the mid-1970s. Read More

Giuliani took office declaring that city government was too big and taxes were too high. His first two budgets cut the headcount of city employees and reduced spending, setting the stage for both tax cuts and a series of surpluses. Read More

It’s official: According to Mayor Giuliani's latest fiscal plan, the next mayor will face a budget gap of $2.7 billion - which, if it actually materializes, will be $400 million more than the one Giuliani inherited from David Dinkins. Read More

When Mayor Giuliani formally unveils his eighth and final city budget today, advocates of more expansive city spending are sure to attack his proposed tax cuts. Ironically, Giuliani will be accused of cutting taxes too much - when, if anything, he hasn't cut them nearly enough. Read More

The best that can be said of New York City's just-negotiated tentative contract with its principal public-employee union, District Council 37, is that it will expire relatively soon, in June 2002. Meanwhile, the agreement sets a costly precedent at a time when the city's budget picture is dimming. Read More

New York's top congressional Democrats have given President Bush's ambitious plan for an across-the board tax cut a chilly reception. Senator Hillary Clinton warned that it "could derail the nation's economy and give New Yorkers higher interest rates and more unemployment." Read More

In his budget message last month, Gov. Pataki called for constitutional reforms to control New York state's debt and ban non-voter-approved "back-door borrowing." But at the same time he quietly proposed a new form of back-door debt -- potentially the most significant change in the state's borrowing practices in decades. Read More

Thirty-five years ago this week, New Yorkers awoke on a cold New Year's Day to find the city's bus and subway system at a standstill. The costly, two-week transit strike, which began the morning John V. Lindsay took office as mayor, inevitably was recalled among the low points of his tenure when he died last month. Read More

The New York State Board of Regents this month celebrated the season of giving by calling on Gov. Pataki and the Legislature to giftwrap another $1.45 billion in state aid to public schools next year -- an 11 percent hike on top of this year's record $1.16 billion increase, which brought total school aid to $13.6 billion. Read More

The question posed by Lisa Key near the end of Tuesday night's presidential campaign debate amounted to a high, hard one for Al Gore and a slow, hanging curve ball right down the middle of the plate for George W. Bush. Mr. Gore twisted and ducked; Mr. Bush checked his swing and fouled it into the dirt. 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.