Gov. Andrew Cuomo's campaign for a statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage is based on the assertion that "no one who works a full-time job should be forced to live in poverty." Few would disagree. But here's the thing: No one who works a full-time job in New York has to live in poverty — thanks largely to a program pioneered at the state level by the governor's father. Read More
In his combined State of the State and budget message last week, Gov. Cuomo officially unveiled $100 billion in “transformative" infrastructure projects — enough to “make Governor [Nelson] Rockefeller jealous.” That wouldn’t be easy, even if it were desirable. To finance a 15-year building binge that included most of the State University system — not to mention countless other capital projects capped by Albany’s monstrously modernist Empire State Plaza — New York’s legendary Republican governor from 1959 to 1973 quintupled state debt. Cuomo clearly hopes his plans will be perceived as Rockefeller-esque in scope. So how does he plan to pay for it all? The answer: for the most part, he doesn’t. Read More
Gov. Cuomo’s 2017 state budget, which he’ll present next week, is likely to call for billions of dollars in new spending on highways and bridges. Unfortunately, taxpayers won’t get their money’s worth if the state continues to insist on rigging bids for public-works projects that all but guarantee the jobs will go to unions. Read More
The rapid rise and costly fall of Health Republic Insurance of New York, the largest nonprofit health insurance “co-op” established under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, is a cautionary tale. Read More
Budget deficits papered over with borrowed money and fiscal gimmicks. Unaffordable union contracts. Pension contributions “amortized” into the future. Retiree health benefits promised but unfunded. Corruption probes and whiffs of scandal. Accountability blurred, responsibility shirked, and hard decisions avoided again and again. That litany could describe any number of old, declining American cities—including a few that, like Detroit, actually went broke. But the same dysfunction exists in affluent corners of New York’s archetypal suburb: Long Island Read More
Long Island town officials are crying the blues over the budgetary squeeze supposedly created by the state’s property-tax cap. They’re not alone: You’ll hear much the same from town pols elsewhere in the metro region and across New York state. But the thrust of their complaints — that the tax cap is somehow blocking urgent public projects and programs — just won’t hold water. Read More
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