E.J. testified before Albany’s Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees today. One tidbit illustrates the Empire State’s acute dependence on Wall Street:

Just how dependent on Wall Street had we become?  Consider this: in 2006, auto manufacturing accounted for 6 percent of Michigan’s economic output.  The securities industry was over 8 percent of New York’s.  Wall Street loomed larger in our budget and economy than oil and gas in Texas, or coal mining in West Virginia.

E.J. goes on to say that while it’s not a good idea to dump a massive array of new taxes onto a struggling economy, some of Gov. Paterson’s individual tax proposals are worse than others. One alternative to the governor’s proposal, to hike income taxes on the “rich,” is particularly bad.

“The real problem with New York’s state and local tax structure is not that the wealthy are under-taxed, but that middle class residents are badly over-taxed by national standards.  But the right policy goal is to reduce tax rates on the middle, not to increase them at the top.”

If you missed the live show, the written testimony is here.

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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.