Archive for October 2007

Spitzer’s Upstate Follies, Part II – By George J. Marlin

October 28, 2007

Governor Spitzer continues his upstate public relations campaign, “Operation Strategic Investment.”

Frankly, Spitzer’s plans are not very strategic nor much of an investment. Over ninety percent of the $850 million in disbursements are redecorated bribes allocated during Pataki’s last term of office.

Payoffs to existing employers and contractors, in the form of state grants, will not revitalize upstate New York’s ailing economy. People have been fleeing the area because they can’t afford the annual property tax bill – 80% of which is dedicated to financing unfunded state mandates. Before entrepreneurs relocate to the area and invest capital, the local tax systems must be fixed.

Here’s a breakdown of the tax burden of upstate townships and cities versus New York’s most affluent and populated municipal sub-division, the town of North Hempstead. (more…)

Spitzer’s Buffalo Follies – By George J. Marlin

October 24, 2007

To get the media’s focus off the scandals plaguing his administration, Governor Spitzer unveiled an $850 million economic development plan he claims will revitalize Western New York’s largest ailing cities, Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

Spitzer’s “strategic investment” scheme, which includes the construction of housing, malls and a 200 thousand square-foot sporting goods store, is not going to turn around Western New York’s economy or stop the population decline.

Over 1 million people have fled upstate New York in this century because runaway taxes have wrecked their local economies, not because they lacked housing or shopping centers. (more…)

New York “Nanny” State – By George J. Marlin

October 14, 2007

In the early 20th Century, British journalist G.K. Chesterton warned that elites, in the name of progress, would attempt to deliver the common man from perceived miseries by imposing on him faddist social bromides.  These modern emancipators he predicted would initiate “a new persecution of the common man.”

David Harsanyi, in his fine new book, Nanny State argues that Chesterton’s fears were justified.  According to Harsanyi, “a band of do-gooders are subtly and steadily stripping us of our liberties, robbing us of the inalienable right to make our own decisions and turning America into a nation of children.” (more…)

The Pataki Legacy – By George J. Marlin

October 7, 2007

When Governor Pataki left office on December 31, 2006, he quickly slid into obscurity.  The impact of his reckless fiscal policies, however, still command the attention of every New York taxpayer.

The Public Policy Institute revealed in May that New York’s per capita combined state and local taxes at the end of 2005 were the highest in the nation.  At $5,770 per capita, New York’s tax burden was 36 percent above the national average.

In addition, the state’s 2005 per-capital debt burden – the third highest in America – increased 6 percent from the previous fiscal year to $12,107.  Per-capita spending, the second highest in the nation, stood at $11,821 versus the national average of $8,003. (more…)