Archive for the ‘Political Issues’ category

As Usual, Left Gets It Wrong on N.Y. Exodus – By George J. Marlin

May 22, 2023

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Monday, May 22, 2023.

To Keep His Job, Biden Will Gladly March with Radical Dems – By George J. Marlin

May 5, 2023

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, May 5, 2023.

Issues That Cannot Be Ignored – By George J. Marlin

May 2, 2023

The following appeared on Monday, May 1, 2023, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

Public opinion polls have been indicating that the most important issues for New Yorkers are crime and migrant asylum-seeking.

Those concerns, however, do not appear to be hitting the radar screen of leftist legislators who represent us in Albany and Washington.

Democratic legislators in the State capital, for instance, have been ignoring the fact that major crimes increased in New York City last year by 22%.

Unable to bring themselves to admit that their so-called penal reforms have contributed to the surge in crime, they ignore the cries of victims to substantively adjust the bail laws. (The minor changes in the state’s budget deal are not expected to have any meaningful public safety impact.)

Here are a few cases of ideological denseness that prove my thesis:

On April 18, a 20-year-old was shot in the head outside the Bronx office of Assembly speaker Carl Heastie.

Later that same day, a Bronx policewoman was hit in the head with a glass bottle and subsequently rushed to a hospital.

Film footage revealed that the officer’s assailant, a 45-year-old with a very long list of arrests, quietly walked up to her and smashed her. “God told him to do this,” he later told police investigators.

What was Speaker Heastie’s reaction to these two incidents in his political backyard? “We must stop focusing on the symptoms of crime and treat the disease,” he said.


I’m guessing he means the disease is guns on the streets. But a bottle is not a gun.

Heastie is so wrapped up in his ideological fantasies, that he cannot grasp that the 2019 lenient penal reforms he supported have emboldened criminals.

For example, 327 shoplifters were “arrested and rearrested more than 6,000 times” in the city last year, The New York Times reported.

Why are these shoplifters so brazen? Because they know they will suffer no consequences for their criminal activities and will be back out on the streets hours after they are arrested.

Heastie’s constituents don’t agree with his soft-on-crime policies. A New York Post poll of his Assembly District revealed that 57% of voters want the penal reforms revised.

A 55-year-old constituent told the Post, “It was bad in the ’80s. I feel like it’s creeping back to that era. If a person is accused of a friggin’ violent crime, they are supposed to go on bail or be denied bail depending on the severity of the crime. I don’t support the way it is now. This is bigger than Heastie.”

Then there is the recent outburst of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after the announcement of a tentative contract agreement between Mayor Eric Adams and the Police Benevolent Association.

Without a contract since 2017, city cops have not had a raise in seven years.

And the longtime starting pay of $42,000 for NYPD officers fresh out of the academy has been the lowest in the region.

The eight-year agreement, if approved by the PBA membership, would start rookies at a competitive $55,000 annually.  It also includes retroactive pay and raises of 3.5% this year and 4% in 2024.

The new pay scale for cops was too much for AOC, a leading “defund the police” advocate.

She blasted the mayor: “We are now at a point where officially most officers are paid more than a teacher with a master’s degree serving the same kids involved in the same incidents.”

AOC’s claim is blatantly false.

Teachers with a bachelor’s degree earn $61,000 their first year in city schools. The starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree is $68,000.

The congresswoman went on to complain that the mayor is “defunding our public schools, defunding our public pools, defunding our parks [and] defunding our libraries” to fund the police department.

That statement is also false.

If there are any cuts in government services, it will be due to the growing costs of the migrant crisis—which the mayor has said is “destroying the city.”

“The national government,” Adams said, “has turned its back on New York City…. Every service in the city is going to be impacted by the asylum crisis.”

Yes, AOC, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Jeffries, as well as Democratic leaders in Albany, have been out to lunch on this problem.

And if these Progressive pols do not come to their senses and tackle the migrant and crime issues, New York will become what it was in the 1970s—ungovernable.

Establishment Media No Longer Tells Truth, It Entertains – By George J. Marlin

March 10, 2023

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on March 10, 2023.

Gov. Hochul’s Unsustainable Budget – By George J. Marlin

March 9, 2023

The following appeared on Monday, March 6, 2023, in the Blank Slate Media newspaper chain and on its website,

In Albany, budget theatrics between the governor and the state Legislature commence every February.

There is always plenty of public weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth by both sides in the mad rush to negotiate an acceptable spending plan that both the executive and legislative branches agree on by April 1 when the new fiscal year begins.

Here’s a brief description of how the process generally works: The governor in both the State of the State address and in the budgetary message paints a dire picture of the state’s finances.

The statements contain dreary economic projections, particularly during a recession.

Fearing rising unemployment and declining economic activity (particularly on Wall Street), the governor lowballs the revenue expected from taxes and fees.

To eliminate a projected deficit the governor calls for reducing bloated bureaucracies and cutting programs, including aid to education and Medicaid.

To share the pain, the governor announces cuts in the executive budget.

Then there are all the fiscal gimmicks employed to lessen the fiscal blow. These include raids on surplus funds, one-shot revenues, and putting off payments of various invoices until the following fiscal year.

No sooner is the ink dry on the governor’s proposal, Progressives bellyache that the cuts and layoffs are excessive, and the revenue estimates are too conservative.

As the deadline approaches both sides buckle down and do serious negotiating behind closed doors.

While the governor has the upper hand in the negotiations to get in an on-time budget – that means compromise.

“When you compromise and both sides are unhappy,” Gov. Mario Cuomo once quipped. “That’s a budget.”

And then, after numerous late-night meetings and plenty of public posturing, old-fashioned horse trading, and outright buy-offs of individual legislators with pork barrel projects for their district, the Legislature passes a budget.

But that is not the way it’s working this year. It’s not the Hochul approach.

Instead of warning legislators that fiscal restraint is necessary because there is a looming recession, that federal one-shot COVID relief money has been exhausted, that record high taxes are driving top earners to Florida, that it will take at least three more years to reach pre-COVID employment levels, and then calling for spending cuts and tax relief—Hochul did the opposite.

The governor called for more spending to be paid by raiding reserve funds and increasing various taxes.

The budget the governor proposed is a record-breaking $227 billion, up $7 billion.

Apparently, the governor is not concerned that her reckless spending is not sustainable.

This despite the fact that Hochul’s own financial plan projects $20 billion in cumulative deficits between 2025 and 2027.

Another misnomer—the governor’s budget assumes top earners will stay in New York.

In recent years the state has lost over 10% of people earning over $750,000 a year. That’s $21 billion of lost taxable income.

Experts are projecting that this trend will continue. Thus, considering 2% of top earners pay 51% of state income taxes, if 100,000 more move out, New York’s tax base will be wrecked.

To pay off teacher and healthcare unions that supported Hochul last year, school aid will go up at least 9.8%—despite declining enrollment—and Medicaid will increase 9.3%.

Here’s a few other ludicrous items buried in the budget: a 70% increase ($700 million) in tax credits for the movie and television industry.

A $455 million “loan” to the moribund New York Racing Association. Additional pension benefits for state employees and additional health care benefits for undocumented migrants.

There’s also Hochul’s budgetary line item to ban the selling of gas stoves by 2030.

And let’s not forget that Hochul’s proposal is only the first step in the annual Albany kabuki dance. Gov. Hochul has proven to be a weak negotiator and I expect legislators will bully her into agreeing to a lot more spending.

The net result, the Empire Center for Public Policy rightly predicts, “it’s sure to be the same as years past: pushing New York further down the road of higher taxes, failing taxpayers and setting back the state’s long-term fiscal health.”