Cuomo's Naked Ambition

New York's not "Open for Business," as the hype claims, but Gov. Cuomo is giving the people the business.

Who will be the first to say the king has no clothes?  If you read or listen to the common wisdom, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the best thing to come along since sliced bread.  On-time budgets.  Gay marriage. Trying to de-criminalize pot.  The "students’ lobbyist."  No new taxes. Property tax caps. The list goes on and on.  Like past Governor George Pataki's first two years, our head of state is swinging hard left, but will try to get more four-year terms on the back of the first two years.

We are led to believe our government is getting smaller. Where? How? The budget still is $132 billion.  Taxes were raised on high-income earners during the 2011 Christmas holiday.  The two most powerful special interests, schools and health care, got more money. 

The "Triborough Amendment" still stands. It allows public sector unions all benefits of expired contracts, including built-in raises, while stonewalling talks to negotiate new contracts. Not one unfunded mandate has bit the dust. 

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Walden Macnair July 13, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Ross, although your analogy to a big mac escapes me i'd love to know what exactly you would like. What I'm hearing is that you think that municipal employees should voluntarily forgo raises or possibly reduce their income voluntarily so that others can be better off. Am I reading your statements correctly? If not, please explain what exactly you mean. BTW corrupt politicians are not all democrats.
Ross Revira July 13, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Be glad to explain as soon as you explain how you would deal with subsidized day care for single parents who have multiple children AFTER they become enrolled in the program. Where does personal responsibility start and the taxpayers end. I have asked you this numerous time but you refuse to answer. Please help clarify your position?
Walden Macnair July 13, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Ross, I'd raise your taxes.
Ross Revira July 13, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Who do you think creates jobs in the private sector? Do they just happen? The US is the largest manufacturing country in the world. Private sector union membership is 6.9%. Public sector union membership is 37%. I feel bad that your job was outsourced and I hope that you find another job. That said you have no clue in regard to economics.
Walden Macnair July 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Here's something to think about Rosie: Who said, "The wage earner cannot get more than is physiologically needed to preserve his capacity to work and to enable him to raise the number of children required to replace him when he dies"?
Aidan July 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Marx. And your point ... which escapes me?
Evelyn Slutnik July 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM
My mother went to Katherine Gibbs and she was old fashioned in the sense that girls were supposed to go to secretarial school and find an ad agency exec like my dad to work for and eventually marry. Since my father was married at the time he hired my mother as his secretary he had to first get divorced and settle score with his first three children (all boys). I come later all sugar and spice and he doesn't want anything more to "handle" than a daughter so doesn't demand more from me than looking like a princess for him all the time. Now I earn more than he did but work a quarter as hard. He says "Always the princess" but that's because I go away a lot on Princess Cruises! :-)
Ruthmarie Hicks July 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Ross, What manufacturing base? That's pretty much gone. The only thing doing half way decently that I can see is the auto industry because Obama helped support it. The wealthy don't WANT to create jobs here. Businesses find it far easier to exploit workers in China and India who haven't learned to defend themselves against abuses. As to be being outsourced...you have no idea what level of education I have, but I can tell from your responses, that it outranks what you have by a loooong shot. I also know one thing about economics...You squeeze the middle class, the entire economy contracts. They've been squeezed dry. Another thing I know - organized labor is the one weapon progressives have against people like you who would not be happy until we devolved into a banana republic with oligarchs at the top and serfs on the bottom.
jeff meyer July 14, 2012 at 02:20 AM
" Last year, Con Ed grossed over $1 billion in profits, while its CEO Kevin Burke took home almost $11 million. According to Local 1-2, Burke has requested Con Ed shareholders to approve another pay raise while he is simultaneously seeking to cut worker benefits" 1. The Indypendent. Without union protection workers will be abused and mistreated. Con Ed is a great example. Despite the corporations enormous profits it is still not enough. What is the reasoning and rationale for the LOCKOUT of 8,500 skilled and essential employees? When is enough of a profit enough? Why is Mr. Burke not satisfied? Must he destroy the lives of Con Ed employees and their families in order to find satisfaction? He and Mr. Israel of Westchester Medical Center are two peas in a pod. Hundreds and thousands suffer yet they get rewarded through the misery of others. This is the life of a workforce with unions. What would life be like for the worker without them? Union protection is needed now more then ever. Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 02:53 AM
You bring up an important point. But at the same time something needs to be done for the CONSUMERS who are FORCED to use ConEd. ConEd is NOT taking care of its infrastructure, meanwhile middle class people with no union protections pay extortionary amounts for an essential service that can be out for a week or more every time there is a heavy rain. What should happen here is that the unions get a FAIR deal, but perhaps not as much as they are used to getting. Perhaps they could keep things flat while the CEO takes a pay CUT. The monies saved should be used to shore up the infrastructure and give CONSUMERS a break in their overall costs.
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Just to make sure people understand where I'm coming from....I run and own my own business. I would like to hire some help but can't. Why can't I? It all comes down to my cost of living and demand for services. When demand is down, I can't hire because the cost of living is so high. Nothing drives down demand more than unemployment. It doesn't matter whether the unemployment is from the public or private sector. The impact on the overall economy is the same - its negative. Fewer public sector jobs inevitably leads to fewer private sector jobs. If the private sector isn't hiring, the public sector needs to. Quite frankly, borrowing is so cheap right now - common sense is screaming for the US to borrow money to shore up our infrastructure. Sure, it will temporarily add to the deficit, BUT - it will put people to work. They will pay TAXES and they will buy goods and services which will stimulate the private sector. Without that "kick" from the public sector you are sentencing the US to a long slow - or not so slow decline. After all, who wants to start a business in a country where the electricity is going out for weeks at a time and where you have to hold your breath every time your cross a bridge.
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 10:23 AM
I can see why you are not so successful with this comment : " Fewer public sector jobs inevitably leads to fewer private sector jobs". You have job creation backwards. I have posted this for you regarding manufacturing in the US: According to the latest United Nations Statistics data (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/snaama/dnllist.asp) the United States is the largest manufacturing nation, with an output of approximately $1.83 Trillion. This is followed by China at $1.79T, with these two nations far outstripping any other nations (Japan $1.05T, Germany $767B and Italy $381B).
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Level of education has nothing to do with common business sense. You have let your failures cloud your thinking. What is squeezing the middle class is ever higher taxes; income, property, sales for example. Every dollar spent on taxes takes away from money that would be spent in the economy which provides for private employment.
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 10:34 AM
I would have guessed you would raise taxes. That is the easy answer what about the individuals responsibility where does that come into play?
Walden Macnair July 14, 2012 at 01:18 PM
My point aidan is that that is what some posters are suggesting we do to municipal workers and then trying to wrap it in the flag as some bizarre suggestion that they should sacrifice their benefits for the good of the people. That comes right out of Karl Marx's brain. Ergo, if you believe it you are at least on that one point a Marxist.
jeff meyer July 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Walden, those who lack a reasonable argument throw the terms "greed", "selfish" and other derogatory words when describing public employees. They are very misguided. As a retiree nobody owes me anything. All I expect is what I worked for and what my labor contract with NYS and the TOE indicate. A contract is a contract. An agreement is an agreement. When those of the tea party belief throw out the irrational and extreme ideas that NYS should declare bankruptcy because they regret their agreements it is absurd! It is absent of logic and legality. Public employees did not cause the "Great Recession". Seven years ago very few desired to even work in the public sector. If the PATCH is going to continue to parade these line of columnists I just wish they would stop the hysteria and opine with reason and clarity. Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
Walden Macnair July 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Ruthmarie, you/re correct and to see that, all you need to do is look at Europe, where austerity programs have resulted in a collapse of their monetary system. Think back to Ronald Reagan when he faced the same issues. He hired more federal employees and increased taxes and brought us out of it. Look at Clinton, he raised taxes on the wealthy and left us a surplus in our budget and more millionaires than he started with I don't understand why working class people like Ross think that it's a great idea for the rich to pay fewer taxes than the middle class. As to the Rich being, “job creators” I’ll grant you that many large corporations are in fact creating jobs, they’re creating them in China, Pakistan, India and Indonesia where there are no unions and they can treat their workers like slave labor. A strong middle class is the key to a strong economy and the wealth disparity has grown in this country to the point where it’s obscene. If the middle class doesn’t wake-up we will find ourselves in a Plutocracy and the ironic part of it will be that the strong conservative base that supports these policies will be among the poor along with the progressives because there will be only two kinds of people; very rich and very poor..
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Ross: Hmmm so being in the top 12-13% in my field means I'm not "doing well" by your definition. Know what you are talking about before you fling around stupidity.
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 01:54 PM
The problem with my business is simple LACK OF DEMAND. If demand increased by a few percentage points, I could start to hire. I refuse to hire people from abroad. If I hire, I hire American employees at appropriate levels of pay.
jeff meyer July 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Ms. Hicks, his/her name is not ross revira. It is a made up name. Just like Horse, Silly Season and so many others (or they could be the same person) he/she will criticize anonymously with shallow arguments. Don't waste your time engaging it is an act of futility. BTW, you make valid and thought provoking points. Jeff Meyer Tuckahoe, NY
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hi Jeff, I'm aware that he the name is probably fake. I'm probably the only one stupid enough to put my real name out there. But if you aren't willing to own your views, you shouldn't post them. I'm on both sides of the above issue. Collective bargaining does help to keep private sector job wages from imploding - although the impact has been lessening. The real impact of unions has been on the politics. WIthout them, the republicans would literally get every single dime of "big money" out there. That is very dangerous for any one political party to have. However, during the early 2000's - at least in my municipality, the unions were out of control, very demanding and condescending of residents who were truthfully saying that their salaries had tanked and they simply could't afford to foot the bill for packages that way, way, WAY above anything these tax payers could ever dream of. They wanted their steps AND increases and it was amounting to 6-7% a year. Nowhere except in the top 1% were salaries and benefits going up like that, and became to me an issue of basic fairness. They had an "I've got mine" and "you should have organized yourselves - don't blame US because you can't get what you need!" attitude. The result 5-6 years down the road was totally predictable backlash of voter fury. However, unions are an answer as well. They know how to organize rank and file like nothing else. They should join the 99% and HELP the middle organize.
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Aiden, Thank you for the history. I don't remember a time when public workers weren't doing well, but I know in the back of my head that that was the "deal". Lower than average pay in exchange for wonderful benefits and retirement packages. But as the salaries went up - and even exceeded the private sector. But no adjustments on the other side. So changing it has to be scaled. Those who worked for years for peanuts need to be protected. However, the growing sense of entitlement among the unions created a monster - and the wealthy in this country found a way to divide the middle and conquer by forcing us to squabble amongst ourselves for what is essentially the crumbs.
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Could lack of demand also be stated that no one wants the product or service? Are you saying that American workers need to be paid more to compete? What is the problem you just pay yourself less so as not to be a greedy boss. Don't you get it?
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Maybe you could go to work for Ruthie. You have all the time and taxpayers money.
Wonderboy July 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Off topic, but I feel Mr. Israel and Mr. Burke are like squirrels gathering nuts for a bad winter coming, because they, along with other millionaires, know the $#%$ is going to hit the fan, gotta get the cash now.
Ruthmarie Hicks July 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Ross, When you've gone out and have successfully begun a startup - from scratch - then you can come back and play with the grown ups.
Pat July 14, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I wish people would have held obama to that same standard before they voted for him in 2008.
Ross Revira July 14, 2012 at 10:41 PM
"To the Wealthy - If you make more than $500k a year - you are rich. I'm sick of your whining and your claims of being "job creators". You aren't interested in creating jobs in the US because you don't WANT to pay decent salaries. So stop lying about it to get more tax breaks. Either produce the jobs you keep dangling or be prepared to pay your fair share of taxes. This is the most SELFISH group of all". said Ruthmarie Hicks I hope your clients know what you really think of them. Maybe your calling is rentals for Section 8 housing? You should try it so you could help people that need assistance instead of profiting off the evil wealthy.
Pat July 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Walt July 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Welcome to reality Hon. This is the new normal.


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