New York will definately be Republican next year
SETTING NY BACK 30 YRS.
ALBANY -- New York's ruling Democratic trium virate took a giant generational leap backward yesterday to the destructive days of John Lindsay, Abe Beame and Nelson Rockefeller.
The budget created by Gov. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is a monstrously bloated, tax-and-spend plan that, in one fell swoop, reverses a three-decade-long effort to strengthen business and prevent taxpayers from fleeing the state.
The wrecking ball of a new state budget, approved in Kremlin-like secrecy by the troika, also ranks as one of the biggest betrayals in process and substance by a governor in New York history.
The reform effort being reversed by Paterson & Co. began in 1975, when then-newly elected Democratic Gov. Hugh Carey, ending 16 years of Republican rule, famously declared that the "Days of Wine and Roses" were over.
Carey wasn't talking about Gov. Rockefeller's sybaritic lifestyle, just his fiscal policies that, along with Mayor Lindsay's, brought a fiscal crisis -- worse in some ways than the current national recession -- that nearly bankrupted the city and state.
Carey was followed by Mario Cuomo, who, in 1987, slashed the state's top income-tax bracket and even cut the capital-gains tax.
But Cuomo, like Paterson, sought to impose billions of dollars in new taxes and fees during a severe recession, worsening the state's economic climate and setting the stage for his defeat at the hands of George Pataki.
Republican Pataki, even with a $5 billion projected deficit on taking office in 1995, balanced the budget and cut the income tax's top rate once again.
Ironically, while Paterson's Democratic allies in the Legislature gleefully claim to be reversing Pataki's tax cuts for the wealthy, he cut tax rates for the highest earners less than they were cut under Democrats Carey and Cuomo.
"This budget basically represents a reversal of 30 years of New York tax policy," said the Manhattan Institute's E.J. McMahon.
"Beginning with Carey and stretching through the 1990s, there was a continuous effort by three governors, sometimes interrupted but not reversed, to reduce income-tax rates in bipartisan recognition that New York's economy had been really hurt by steep income tax rates put in place under Nelson Rockefeller."
Paterson, who succeeded the disgraced Eliot Spitzer just over a year ago, repeatedly pledged last summer and fall to continue the effort to revive business, reverse the loss of productive citizens to lower-tax states and revive the moribund upstate economy.
And he also promised a new era of governmental openness in place of Albany's notorious secrecy.
But last week, Paterson -- whose 19 percent job-approval rating has driven him into the arms of the leftist Working Families Party and public-employee unions he hopes will help him win election next year -- was openly mocking government accountability, claiming with breathtaking chutzpah that by keeping negotiations secret, he was following the wishes of the press.
Paterson's sense of humor once made him famous at the best parties at the Capitol.
His anything-but-funny budget could make him infamous for abandoning 30-plus years of economic progress. http://www.nypost.com/seven/03312009/news/columnists/setting_ny_back_30_yrs__162152.htm