Gov. Kathy Hochul, who hasn’t proven shy about issuing orders, had one for the state’s Republicans this week — all 5.4 million of them: “Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” she said. “You are not New Yorkers.”
If you can move beyond the frankly disgusting political partisanship and intolerance, her message is fiscally irresponsible, even dangerous. The governor probably already knows this, but the state’s extensive public sector is heavily reliant on personal income taxes paid by residents, and with nearly $14 billion in projected budget gaps over the next five years, it can’t afford to lose any taxpayers, let alone 5.4 million of them.
The Empire State has already lost 1.5 million residents in the past decade, and there’s no sign of that trend letting up. In fact, more than 350,000 New Yorkers relocated during the 12 pandemic-plagued months leading up to July 1, 2021.
In her attempt to be snappy, Hochul exposed a major problem that has gripped our state since the dawn of the Cuomo-Hochul era: New Yorkers are leaving, and they’re taking their tax dollars with them.