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Cuomo Against Cuomo-Style Policies? Not So Fast

by on November 12, 2010

Noted small-government Tea Partying populist conservative Andrew Cuomo… wait. The new New York governor seems to have forgotten that the election is over, as he’s still trying to suck up to voters by eschewing tax hikes even after winning. Paladino may have cruised to defeat, but the victor sounds like he’s opening a Carl’s Jr. franchise as he rails against increasing the state’s take:

Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo repeated his pledge of no new taxes at a Nov. 9 press conference, his first since being elected the next governor of New York.

“There’s not a lot of mystery here. No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes. That would be counterproductive,” he said.

One question for the next governor to clarify: no new what? Cuomo the younger goes on to sound like he’s reading from the Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell:

“If we want to attract businesses, keep young people here, grow businesses here, we have to offer an environment for business that is palatable. And if we keep raising taxes and (writing) overregulations, we’ll be alone here,” Cuomo said.

And he isn’t just announcing qualified support for keeping “middle class” taxes low in a classic class warfare tactic a la Obama. Cuomo is at least saying he isn’t interested in confiscating any more income from successful people:

Cuomo, a Democrat, also appeared cool to the option of extending a income-tax hike on New Yorkers making $250,000 or more a year. The hike is set to expire at the end of 2011, taking more than $1 billion of revenue out of the budget.

Of course, there’s a leftist catch. He’s lamentably fine with soaking the rich at the already-established exorbitant rate. Additionally, he’s apparently also oblivious to how the present unpleasant burden is already scaring away entrepreneurs, not to mention the money they’d use for purchases or investments:

“We have no problem saying to rich people, ‘You should pay more taxes.’ We do that better than anyone else in the nation,” Cuomo said.

Maybe that’s not the best thing about which to brag, Andy, especially when you remarkably don’t realize the damage that’s already been inflicted by being number one:

“The problem is, at what point do the rich people say, ‘I’m moving,’ ” he asked.

We’re already past that point: call Tom Golisano in Florida and ask. Cuomo has inadvertently revealed his true form while railing against higher rates: he’s trying to make a cynical calculation of how much the state can loot before the highest earners revolt and bail.

This miserable Keynesian balance treats the rich as a resource to be tapped until emptied. He only thinks we’re entitled to take from wealth-creators for the public’s alleged benefit until the economy has been maimed, not mortally wounded. That’s so pragmatic of him.

It’s too bad, as Cuomo almost sounded sensible for a moment. It wouldn’t even be the first time he said something astute: he also mercifully opposes holding September 11 trials near the attack site in a rebuke of the Department of Justice’s persistently delusional indulgence in perilous symbolism.

Whether the governor-elect is standing on principle against his usual ideological brethren or pragmatically rejecting the epitome of liberal self-righteousness remains unclear. But we’ll take any ally we can get in the effort to prevent slapping a target upon Manhattan.

Unfortunately, he won’t lean rightward frequently. After all, Cuomo is most renowned for his stereotypically meddlesome liberal tenures both as state attorney general and Housing and Urban Development kingpin. And he’d never suggest actually making the Empire State less empire-y about its own citizens’ incomes:

But you’d better keep tax cuts on your Christmas list. Cuomo called them “unrealistic,” given the $9 billion deficit facing the state in its next fiscal year.

The fact the percentage won’t suck any more is small consolation. Even if he follows through and doesn’t raise taxes, which, um, he won’t, it will fail to be enough. Maintaining the current woeful environment is a prescription for doom. Naturally, Cuomo sadly never discussed spending cuts, either.

Of course, New York’s Republican politicians have been complicit in the state’s profligacy. This state once again frustratingly stood at the vanguard before the rest of the destitute nation followed a miserable lead.

Regardless, continuing to tax at will in order to please unions and get as many people addicted to Medicaid as possible isn’t good enough. Assuming the entirely dubious proposition that he means it, claiming he won’t raise levies any further is marginally nice of Cuomo. The problem is they have already gone too far.

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