New York Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government in Albany, New York are destroying the state’s financial and societal foundations.
The Empire State has the highest combined state and local taxes in the nation, a declining population, a flagging economy, massive Wall Street layoffs, surging crime, and failing public schools.
Yet, these pols aren't bothered.
Hence, on Feb. 1, Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., thought nothing of releasing a proposed budget that calls for spending a record-breaking $227 billion.
That's more than the combined budgets of Florida and Pennsylvania.
To pay off the teacher and healthcare unions that supported her last year, school aid will go up at least 9.8% and Medicaid expenditures will increase 9.3%.
To pay for her reckless budget package, Hochul will drawdown reserve funds and, once again, raise taxes.
Hochul calls for increasing the state corporate franchise tax rate, the payroll mobility tax paid by employers in the 12 downstate counties, and various nuisance taxes.
If Gov. Hochul gets her way, expect even more business owners and their employees to relocate to tax-friendly states in the southern part of the nation.
Hochul’s budget proposal, however, is only the opening gambit in the annual Albany kabuki dance.
There is no doubt the radicals in the legislature will up the tax-and-spend ante and steamroll the governor — just as they did last year.
Democratic legislators don’t care that they are increasing spending to unsustainable levels that will lead to huge budget deficits for years to come.
They don’t care about a looming recession that could decimate an already faltering economy. Nor do they care about the flight of high earners who pay most of the taxes.
They don’t care if they destroy New York’s tax base to fund their fantasy land ideological formulas. For Albany Democrats, ideology trumps reality.
As for addressing the issue of crime: legislative leaders have made it clear that they will continue ignoring pleas to fix the flawed cashless bail and "raise the age" laws that have been detrimental to public safety.
To avoid facing reality leftist legislators prevented Albany district attorney David Soares, who is Black Democrat, from delivering a critical statement to a Senate crime hearing.
After reading his prepared remarks in the New York Post, this writer understands why they denied Soares the opportunity to speak out.
They did not want to hear him say, "If you deny that the release of hundreds of car thieves, burglars, drug dealers and petty thieves had an obvious impact on crime in New York you’re denying common sense."
They did not want to hear him recite these dismal statistics concerning defendants put into the non-monetary release (NMR) program:
- For those defendants put into NMR who had prior convictions or pending cases (79% of the total) the re-arrest rate was 44.6%
- For those defendants put into NMR charged with commercial burglary, the re-arrest rate was 60%. For residential burglary it was 47%. For Grand Larceny it was 56%. For robbery it was 56%. For petit larceny it was 67%.
They did not want to hear that last year in New York City burglaries were up 26.5%; robberies were up 33.9%; grand larceny was up 15.8%; and car thefts were up a staggering 68%.
And the legislators did not want to hear District Attorney Soares’ closing comment: " . . . pretending that accountability and the immobilization of criminals isn’t a critical part of public safety is akin to pretending the Earth is flat. Just because your echo chamber repeats it, doesn’t make it true."
But it doesn’t matter because Albany radicals will not confront facts that contradict or refute their fundamental ideological belief that criminals are victims of society.
They did not want to be lectured by Soares that their so-called reforms have had "their most devastating impact on black and brown communities."
In New York City, for example, Blacks, who are 23% of the population, are suffering the most from the surge in crime.
They are victims of 67% of homicides, 38% of rapes, and 45% of felonious assault.
And those statistics help explain why significant numbers of Blacks are fleeing New York City.
Sadly, Albany Democrats prefer to ignore these pressing fiscal and public safety issues.
Instead, they prefer to focus on more important matters such as removing Mario Cuomo’s name off the Croton-on-Hudson bridge and devising laws to expropriate the gas stoves in our homes.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." Read George J. Marlin's Reports — More Here.
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