George Elmer Pataki: The Inconsequential Governor – By George J. Marlin

Three days before the New York presidential primary, The New York Times published an above the fold article titled, “As State Primary Nears, Pataki is Barely Visible.”  Rationalizing the former governor’s disappearing act, a Pataki spokesman said, “…I think he is more active with a national outlook rather than a state one.”

The real reason Pataki has become a political non-entity is that Republicans and Conservatives prefer to forget his years in office.  They are angry that fiscally, economically and culturally, Pataki sold them down the river.  They are ashamed of an administration that discarded principles and catered to enriching lobbyists, contributors and political cronies.  They are embarrassed by this gruesome Pataki record:

Key Economic and Social Indicators
New York vs. 49 Other States

State Business Tax Climate Index 2006 New York is the worst
Cost of Doing Business Index New York is second worst
Average cost of a worker’s comp. case 2001-2002 New York is second highest
Average retail price of electricity, 2005 New York is second most expensive
Average cost for auto insurance – 2003 New York is second most expensive
U.S. Economic Freedom Index New York is the worst
State and local tax burdens, 2002 New York is the highest
Property taxes and sales taxes per capita, 2002 New York is fifth highest
State taxes per capita and local taxes per capita New York is the highest
State and local government spending per capita, 2002 New York is second highest
State and local government debt per capita, 2002 New York is second highest
Per-pupil spending New York is second highest
Source:  Data compiled by the Public Policy Institute of New York State, 2006  

Governor Pataki’s political demise is well deserved.  Not since Mayor John Lindsay left office in 1973, has a major New York political figure been swept so quickly into the dust bin of history.  While former Governor Hugh Carey is revered and former Governor Mario Cuomo is relevant, former Governor George Pataki is inconsequential.

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