Antics and Semantics

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last November, Governor Cuomo participated in the temporary reopening of a GAP warehouse located in Fishkill, New York. The reason, according to his press release, with the infusion of $2.65 million in State Funding (approved by the Legislature) he stopped the company from relocating to Tennessee, saving approximately 1,000 jobs. Assuming the funding is nothing more than a helpful loan, the governor’s actions are to be commended.

To the applause of the audience, he took this opportunity to enunciate how he has transformed New York into a business friendly state by reducing corporate and manufacturing taxes to the lowest level in many years; and, by limiting State spending increases to no more than 2% per year. He also mentioned “No other New York state governor has reduced spending as much as I have, Democrat or Republican.” Happy days’ are here again!

His remarks are crafty, presented to inspire, not inform. Pure and simple, on a per capita basis, New York State* collects and spends more money than any other state in the Nation. The numbers are astronomical with $75.0 billion credited, and $144.3 billion disbursed, up some $18 billion since 2011. The spending total is noted as the most comprehensive view of ‘cash-based’ financial operations in New York State. The 2% cap, while helpful, is not the panacea advertised. Antics and semantics indeed.

I’d love to be able to cut the governor some slack when his cup runneth over. Not easy to do. Using lyrics from Johnny Mercer’s music, he knows how to “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative,” while not messing around with Mister In-Between. More to come in six regional State of the State addresses starting January 9th as he pursues a third term in office and, a Presidential bid in 2019.

*Data from the 2016-2017 Enacted Budget Financial Plan. Spending totals exclude Alaska and the District of Columbia.

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