January 30, 2016

Quick Takes (v4): Cuomo's ED

Quick Takes
This past Sunday, Post Standard guest columnist David M. Rubin slammed our Sonofa Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development programs - and the best part was, he used Cuomo's own words.  Take a look:
At least Gov. Andrew Cuomo was correct about one issue in his recent State of the State address: "The cold truth is that this state government shortchanged Upstate New York for many years. And that was short-sighted." 
Indeed, it has been short-sighted - and will continue to be exactly that going forward with the Sonofa Gov.  Why?

Well as Rubin points out, Cuomo proposes specific money for specific projects in NYC. Here are the examples Rubin mentioned:
  • billions for the NYC subway system
  • billions for a new LaGuardia Airport
  • billions for the LIRR and Metro North
  • billions for a new rail-tunnel link to NJ
  • billions to rebuild Penn Station
  • billions to modernize the Javits Convention Center

If I didn't know better, I'd think Cuomo was channeling Carl Sagan

For those of us here in the hinterlands, that vast expanse of New York referred to by politicians and reporter as 'Upstate',  though, it's a different story. We don't get a lot of specific handouts from the Gov - instead, we get to have competitions for economic development, competitions that pit region against region, company against company, and that stifle particular industries if they're not in the chosen region as dictated by the Governor's team. 

At the same time as he has held steady (since 2008) the amount of state aid given to municipalities, Cuomo has capped property tax increases and presses for consolidation across the state, as if, Rubin notes, we are to blame for our high taxes. In that, Cuomo ignored unfunded mandates, about which every impacted governmental jurisdiction has been complaining for decades.

But we did get a convoluted, patchwork Thruway toll give-back, to go along with all of the other patchwork plans Cuomo and his predecessors have rolled out over the years.

Like this, my favorite.

Rubin has stirred the pot on this subject before -- my Hell Hath No Fury series recaps his opinions and the reactions to them. You don't have to agree with everything he says, but if you think about the opinions and the responses to them, you might not watch the pretty commercials on the Empire State's glowing economic development programs (one of those which is running in the background as I type this) - the same way again.

And, I think, you'll see that not a whole lot has really changed, no matter how slick the commercials, how glorious the speeches, or how well-packaged the competition plans.

I'll have more on economic development, the SOTS, and the Consensus report in upcoming posts.