Skip to comments.Cuomo the Conservative - Believe it. (At least fiscally, who knew?)
Posted on 02/02/2011 8:02:23 PM PST by neverdem
Cuomo the Conservative
Looking for a tax-cutting, budget-slashing, fiscally conservative governor? How about Andrew Cuomo? Yes, that Andrew Cuomo.
With the possible exceptions of California and Illinois, no state is facing as big an economic mess as New York. Years of profligate spending and crushing taxes have left the state with a $10 billion budget shortfall. The conventional wisdom said that despite having the nation’s highest tax burden, and what Cuomo has called the “worst business climate in the country,” New York would have no choice but to hike taxes yet again. That is, after all, the path that Illinois just chose, raising its state income tax by 75 percent.
Cuomo rejected that approach, early, often, and loudly. He vowed to balance the state’s budget without borrowing and without raising taxes.
“The old way of solving the problem was continuing to raise taxes on people, and we just can’t do that anymore. The working families of New York cannot afford tax increases. The answer is going to have to be that we’re going to have to reduce government spending,” Cuomo declared.
In fact, Cuomo didn’t just rule out tax increases, he actually called for tax cuts. Already he has pushed through the state senate a bill establishing one of the nation’s strongest caps on property taxes. For New York businesses and homeowners, this is a long overdue move. Nationally, the median annual property tax is $1,917. In some New York counties, the average property-tax bill exceeds $9,000.
Cuomo’s proposal, modeled after nearby Massachusetts’s successful Proposition 2½, would limit property-tax increases to no more than 2 percent or 120 percent of the inflation rate, whichever is lower. Significantly, it does not include traditional loopholes for things like government employees’ health-insurance premiums or pensions. It would also eliminate the practice of localities’ voting separately to approve school budgets without regard to their impact on taxes. And most important, the bill would require a 60 percent supermajority for voters to override the cap, ensuring that taxes would only be raised for genuine emergencies or the most worthwhile projects.
Cuomo also has announced that he will allow the state’s “temporary” income-tax surcharge on the wealthy to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. That has outraged liberal groups, unions, and the New York Times, but Cuomo responds by warning that high taxes are a job-killer and would “just prolong the recessionary conditions in the state.”
Of course, tax-cutting is always easier than budget-cutting — as Congress has shown in recent years — but Cuomo also seems serious about controlling state spending. In fact, Cuomo sounds almost Reaganesque, declaring flatly, “The state spends too much money.”
Almost immediately, he imposed a freeze on salaries for state workers. While that move was more symbolism than substance, it was important symbolism. Public-employee unions have been some of the state’s most powerful special interests. Since 2007, while most Americans have been struggling, New York public employees have seen their wages and benefits go up by 13 percent. Beyond the symbolism, Cuomo’s freeze will save taxpayers $200 million this year. Cuomo is also set to cut the size of the state bureaucracy. His 2011 budget, released yesterday, calls for a reduction in the state work force of some 15,000 people, slightly more than 7 percent of the state’s 200,000 employees. And he cut his own office’s budget by 25 percent.
Overall, Cuomo’s budget represents the first proposed year-to-year drop in state spending since the mid 1990s. Everything is on the table, from prison construction to state aid to New York City.
Cuomo also appears ready to go after the sacred cows of state spending: education and health care. He has pledged to eliminate state budget rules that lock in annual increases to educational programs and Medicaid — a 13 percent hike this year. But beyond doing away with the automatic $8 billion hike built into the budget formulas, Cuomo plans real cuts as well. His budget would cut Medicaid spending by $3 billion.
He would also shave nearly $1 billion from state education spending. And Cuomo has made it clear that he was talking about actual cuts, not just the traditional game of decreases in the rate of increase.
The proposed cuts have engendered the usual howls of outrage that it will lead to fired teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and sick people dying in the street. In response, Cuomo notes that New York spends more per pupil on education and more per enrollee on Medicaid than nearly any other state, yet has little to show for the money.
Andrew Cuomo apparently understands that the secret to economic growth is a smaller, less expensive government. It’s an approach that some of his fellow Democrats in Washington — including the White House — could learn a lot from.
— Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.
Cuomo has no choice cut taxes and spending or go bankrupt.
checking the treetops for pork ...
His goal is to be president someday. He has to act like a conservative to even be considered. In this way of thinking, if he can turn the economic tide in New York, he can turn the economic tidal wave in the US.
I live in nys and so far he seems to be modeling himself after christie.
Andrew Cuomo is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's turning out to be far shrewder than his "brilliant" father.
He's clearly angling for something bigger.
Its rare to see a Democrat embrace a small government approach. Andrew Cuomo represents the antithesis of his father’s thinking that Big Government is always better and you can’t have too much of it.
That’s the problem New York has. If a Democrat can embrace common sense in a Deep Blue State, there’s hope for the rest of America!
I hope Gov. Cuomo is successful in implementing all of these cuts.
But when they vote in RINOS (the only Republicans with a chance of winning in those states), they can blame everything on Republicans opposing spending.
Here's a question. When a RINO goes up for re-election Democrats will successfully call them phonies for going along with them on tax increases after they successfully trap them in a corner.(MD Dem Gov O Malley won big in this the past election, as did Clinton beat Bush in 1992 using this strategy.)
But when liberals get themselves in this trap and are forced into unpopular spending cuts, why don't Republicans attack Democrats for it?
This is a case where the DemocRAT had no other choice.
“His goal is to be president someday. He has to act like a conservative to even be considered. In this way of thinking, if he can turn the economic tide in New York, he can turn the economic tidal wave in the US.”
But he has to be more than a fiscal conservative to get my vote.
He's clearly angling for something bigger.
Daddy wants him in the place he could not attain himself.
I see him running for President in 2020. He’ll want two terms under his belt first.
He took a leaf straight from Steve Levy’s playbook: He told the public employee unions that if they didn’t give him the concessions he asked for he would fire 10,000 of them. It worked for Levy, so maybe it will work for Cuomo.
Whatever his future ambitions, I give him kudos for taking these bold moves in a deep-blue state such as NY. And, quite possibly, he has been watching his neighbor, Chris Christie, and taken a page out of his playbook.
Whatever, if he is positioning himself for higher office or not, the people of NY deserve a break, and kudos to him if he implements his plans. Maybe, just maybe, he cares about his state and the mess its in.
This is the same guy who, while in Clinton’s cabinet, went around the country like Johnny Appleseed tossing billions of tax dollars down the toilet to fight “homelessness”? I’ll believe Cuomo’s big talk when I actually see big cuts, and not a second before.
Actually, Cuomo did have a choice: he could have followed the Pat Quinn playbook and raised taxes, thereby sinking the economy further; Senate Republicans would have probably gone along if the price was right.
If he wants to be POTUS one day and is smart enough to figure out that to get there he has to be conservative, and if en route that means turning around the economy of NYS, and in the process takes on the state worker unions, then we should celebrate his ambition. I’m not even from NY, but for this I’m cheering him on.
What tax cuts? He plans a tax cap at 2%... Where are the tax cuts?
We could do worse than Cuomo for a Democrat president.
Wait! We already have!
Of course, I’d prefer a “Zell Miller” Democrat, myself.
We could do a lot better with a non-RINO conservative ‘Pubby, though.
"In fact, Cuomo didnt just rule out tax increases, he actually called for tax cuts. Already he has pushed through the state senate a bill establishing one of the nations strongest caps on property taxes."
A linked quote would have been nice, but he can only propose. Albany will dispose.
A tax cap is not a tax cut. It is a guaranteed tax increase. I sent this message to the media yesterday because Carls old campaign manager sent out a letter of support for Cuomo.
The NY Times got feedback from two TEA Party groups, how do the rest of the 106 groups feel? That is my question. When this idea was floated by a group yesterday in Oneonta most were instantly against it. Why? Because a 2% tax cap is still a tax increase. Is it a step in the right direction? That is debatable. In my opinion it is no where near enough but each and every group has to craft their own opinion, I speak for no one but myself.
I am against any tax increase, fee increase or any increase in spending whatsoever. New York is in desperate times and it is time for the legislature to understand that it is of their doing and no one elses. It is time for our legislators and Governor Cuomo to bite the bullet and restructure this budget process that we know is broken to the core.
We need power and the ability to make decisions here at the local level. Albany has a way of blaming the local governments and locals blame Albany. We all know in fact that the root of our fiscal problems start and end in Albany. We need mandate relief, no longer can county governments afford the excessive spending mandated by Albany. Without mandate relief, Albany will continue to dump their increase spending on to us, the local taxpayers. Tip O’Neil said it right, all politics are local. Problem is our local assembly and senate members do not listen once back in the halls of the legislature in Albany.
Local power/Local Control.
Mandate relief, give the county governments the same ability that Albany has with the Federal government IE Medicaid. The Feds do not dictate what the states have to offer in Medicaid, why should Albany dictate to the counties? Counties need to have the ability to pick and choose according to the fiscal restraints and needs of each. Counties need the ability to opt out of optional programs.
Albany doesn’t have the political will for changes - counties do. And, for every one dollar saved by the county, the state saves two dollars and the feds save three dollars!!
I don't agree with the parenthetical. Each time a conservative has run in California, they have been closer to winning than most RINOs. They have been pushed into the losing circle not by the democrats or the electorate, but by the big-government RINO crooks who stab their "own" fellow Republican in the back at the eleventh hour. Analysis after analysis has been posted on FR proving the above but somehow your parenthetical keeps getting repeated as if it is fact. Purge the big-government cronies from the 'leadership' of the party and put one nth the effort behind a campaign that was done for Meg or Carly and California could have conservatives in leadership. Instead of accepting the RINO mantra of "they can't win", these RINO scumbags need to be exposed and thrown out on their tails. JMNSHO
CalCowGirl, both of us have watched decent candidates get eaten up by the election process here in California. Bill Simon is a perfect example.
I guess I should actually backtrack a bit here, because the process isn’t what defeats our people. It’s the California Republican Party leadership that costs us elections.
If it’s a person like Schwarzenegger or Whitman, the leadership recruits them, fawns over them, and helps them every step of the way. If it’s a guy like Bill Simon the party leadership acts like a spurned wife, who isn’t talking to her husband on general principles.
Simon beat out Riordan in the primary. He wasn’t supposed to be able to do it. When he did the party leadership stomped out of the room never to return.
Simon ran his campaign on a few million dollars. While he was being driven in his campaign bus to campaign stops few and far between, Gray Davis was being whisked around in a corporate jet. Simon spent a few million dollars for his whole campaign. Davis spent between $10 and $15 million, perhaps even more.
Simon was showing up at rallies of his and his team’s own devising. The party wasn’t helping. The national level Republicans who came out to help him were few and far between. It was like pulling teeth to get any support. Bush made one very quick in and out visit. I’m not sure if he even attended a big fundraiser for Simon. I tend to doubt it.
Gray Davis on the other hand, had full Democrat party support. His party team here in California pulled out all the stops. Big affairs in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other places were attended by big names in the state, and some of the biggest national names as well. Presidential candidates showed up to support him. People from Capital Hill showed up. No stone was left unturned to make sure Davis was given every chance to win.
After all this, the lack of support, the lop-sided way things were run on the campaign trail, Bill Simon lost by 5%. That sounds like a big spread, but the fact of the matter is, a 2.5% plus one shift in the vote, and Simon would have won.
The Democrats pushed their get out the vote drive to the max. Simon, not having much funding, simply couldn’t compete.
Davis spent a huge sum on television spots. Simon couldn’t afford to. The local media gave glowing reports of Davis campaign adventures, and cut down factual reports about Simon’s. Simon not getting any support, few flashy names, and less spectacular venues, appeared to be running a poor campaign. Can’t remember how many times I heard Republican say they couldn’t support him because he couldn’t even run a successful campaign, completely missing the point that the Cal RP leadership was AWOL.
On election day there were 6,703,291 votes cast for governor. Simon lost by 363,689 votes. Only 181,845 votes would have had to shift from Davis to Simon, for Simon to have won this election.
Did he lose the election on the issues? No. He lost the election because nobody, no matter how good they are, can win an election playing the role of the Lone Ranger.
I don’t care who you are, there are bedrock issues that speak to you. Taxes, employment, safety, crime, education, sound fiscal management, Simon came within a whisker of winning the election without the Republican party leadership in or out of the state.
It is not a factual claim, that nobody but a RINO can win in California. It is factual to state that nobody but a RINO will get the Republican party’s support in California.
When you start looking at the registration figures for California, you quickly realize how desperate the voters are for better leadership. Despite the lopsided registration in the state, 44.6% Democrat and 35.21% for the Republicans, Simon was still able to draw within a 2.5% swing vote margin.
The only people Simon couldn’t win over, was the few people at the helm in the Republican party in-state. His message was good enough. He was not denied due to his Conservative message. He was denied, because he was not funded so that he could get his message out.
Remember, Davis was recalled less than a year later. If Simon had been funded and able to get his message out, the recall would have been unnecessary. Schwarzenegger would never have been governor. Our state would be in a better fiscal position today. Brown would likely have not even run this years.
I went back to 2002, because that’s the last time we’ve had a real Conservative in the general election.
Simon’s treatment made it quite clear what future Conservatives could expect if they dared try the same thing in state.
It saddens me to see folks buy off on the idea that Conservatism is dead, or it just won’t sell anymore. That is not born out by the facts. The truth is, we have very few salesmen for Conservatism these days, and if you’re not making calls, you’re not making sales.
Don’t blame Californians for not voting for Conservative tenets, when they haven’t heard them expounded upon for going on a decade.
When a conservative actually wins as governor of CA or NY (or MA) I will concede your points. Arnold is a super-RINO. Even in the mid 90s during the Republican tidal wave the governorship and Mayor of NYC both RINOs broke those Democrat strongholds. Same with Romney and Brown, both RINOs in MA, And in MD RINO Ehrlich beat Kennedy for governorship for only one term (see below point), but when we in MD nominated a REAL conservative Salbrey for governor (I sent her money), she lost.
Liberals don't (almost never) vote in conservatives, and conservatives don't vote in liberals.
This is all off the main point of my comment about how Democrats beat RINOs by using Alinsky political tactics against them : they attack RINOs for acting like them (Democrats).
It’s not important to me if you concede to facts or not.
You’re entitled to react any way you like when presented with them.
Let's make it simple. A congressional district that elects Michelle Bachmann is not electing Dennis Kucinich and vice versa. I am sure there are liberals that will claim that a liberal can beat Bachmann in her district, or alternatively some will claim a conservative beat Kucinich in his. But it's not realistic.
Try these other facts if my last set was not enough:#28
You’re changing the subject. The topic I responded to was the idea that a Conservative couldn’t get elected in California.
I explained what the reality on the ground in California is. I provided a clear-cut example, and gave you a link to enough information for you to clearly see what I was talking about.
Your responses referenced a number of other locations outside California to evidently prove a point.
California is not a lost cause. It is a lost cause until we get decent RP leadership in the state who is willing to support Conservative candidates with funding, or the Tea Party decides to make it official and take over for the Republican party in the state.
Conservatives are still electable here. You’ve seen the evidence.
If being outspent in the state by a five to one or better margin can’t buy the fully funded a better victory than a 2.5% swing over a Conservative, then it’s brutally clear that Conservatism is not dead in the state.
Speaking of conservatives convincing liberals (in very liberal districts) to vote conservative, it seems most conservatives claim (this is unscientific poll) they would never talk to a liberal because they are impossible(which they usually are). How would that work?
What about conservatives that flee liberal states(say for jobs) ? What does that do?
I think I made a general comment about RINOs in liberal areas not specifically CA, that was the text of mine that CCG was responding to. But my point was pure opinion. I will concede that. I would have been more accurate to have posted “The only Republicans that ever seem to win in liberals areas are RINOs and they don't last long”
I think you are making the argument that CA is more conservative than it looks. I think I will let that one go. I know that Ba-Ba Boxer looks pretty nuts to me, she always did.
I think therein lies the basis for disagreement. In California elections, it is not about convincing liberals to vote Republican. That is the same mistake that the RINOs make every time, thinking they need to move further and further to the left (although it may be intentional given the past liberal CRP Chair calling for a "purple party"). When given the choice between a liberal(R) and a liberal(D), liberals and democrats vote for "the real thing" -- their own.
There are over 23 million people in California eligible to vote. Only 17 million of those are registered. And only 10 million or so bother to vote. Conservatives come out to vote when there is something to vote FOR or someone who gets their attention. And that is how/when Republicans win. A choice between Meg and Jerry was no choice at all. When RINOs like Meg win, we are often worse off than with Dems as proven by Schwarzenegger who accomplished more for the liberal agenda than any democrat could have dreamed of.
I know the above was not your central point, but the parenthetical comment you made is simply not true. DoughtyOne mentioned Bill Simon; there are others. As I mentioned, the statistics and analysis has been posted on FR many times. If you need for us to go dig them up and rehash the whole thing here in order to stop posting the "conservatives can't win in CA" mantra, I guess we could do that.
I did wonder if this second point was your argument. That is why I followed up with the comment “I think you are making the argument that CA is more conservative than it looks. “ at #33. I would say it is a hard sell point that there is a large % of conservative (potential) voters in CA that let ding-dongs like Boxer get reelected every six years (since 1992 I think) because they are waiting for that conservative candidate that never gets nominated by the RINO party. At some point a pain threshold will be met.
Most would conclude that CA Republican party nominates RINOs to begin with, because it is a liberal state, and the Republicans there are primarily RINOs. ( I feel safe identifying CA as liberal.) I know for certain that is what is going on in MD, because I always ask others here their views and Republicans here LOVED McCain.
Voters are fleeing CA and I think it would be Republicans more than Democrats.
I was arguing that trying to convince llarge groups of liberals in states like NY to suddenly vote conservative wont work, and that Republicans acting as liberals backfires on them (My main point) just to make clear.
SickOfLibs, let me explain why this point is so important to Conservative Californians. You’re a good guy and I don’t want you thinking I don’t believe that.
It has been a long time since a Republican candidate come to California and waged a real effort to win the state. Just waging the fight is an important part of Conservatism.
How can we expect California’s voters to fully understand the Conservative message if that message is never fully expressed and defended in-state?
Bob Dole, George Bush, John McCain, these guys didn’t come to the state and give it their best shot to win. Instead they came to the state for several mega-bucks dinner fundraisers, then promptly fled the state to spend those campaign bucks elsewhere.
We haven’t had the big full-bore all out effot to win the state in twenty years or more. That means that we haven’t had the big add buys in the state. We haven’t had the state media covering a Republican campaigning through the state. We haven’t had a Conservative message expressed in-state.
During this same period of time, at every election cycle, the Democrats have campaigned progressively within the state. They spread their message far and wide, and nothing is spoken in the public arena here to refute the Liberal talking points.
What do you think would happen if the Republicans implemented this game plan in every state?
Within one decade the Republican party would cease to exist. The Democrats would have about 75 to 80% of the seats in Congress, and the White House all to themselves.
It’s foolish not to remain competitive in California. The RP abandoned (surrendered) it, and us along with it.
Angry doesn’t begin to express my thoughts on what has taken place since. As goes California, so goes the nation.
We have seen it. We are seeing more and more evidence of it all the time. The Republican party has for all intents and purposes surrendered across the board. California is not the only place what I have been describing has been taking place.
Our brain-trusts lament not being able to win big general election victories, and yet they have been content to spot the Democrats 52 electoral votes each election.
Our party is stuck on stupid.
That being said: ANY Republican, RINO or conservative in the CA governor's seat right now would be crucified for even doing half of what Brown is forced to do now. There is just no smiley solutions for CA. It will take pain.
That is good to read after all this back and forth.
I would say I am a 'somewhat' good guy (that Bush-bot from Ohio would strongly disagree with you on that!) that always questions the conventional wisdom and wants to make sure the crowd is not marching off another cliff before I join them.
Thanks for the exchange SickOfLibs. You take care. And don’t let them march off until you’re ready... ;^)
It's really not hard at all to understand why Boxer got elected, over and over. But it has little to do with voters liking her. It has a whole lot to do with the Republican Party and their candidates. Remember Bill Jones? The entire establishment lined up behind him with money and endorsements in the primary and squashed all competition (including some conservatives). Then he failed to run a single ad or even launch a campaign. He just sat back and lost. The PTB in the GOP were perfectly happy handing that election to Boxer.
Or how about Feinstein's election? After the Bill Jones affair, not many were willing to face the vindictiveness of the Republican Party infiltrators so almost no one ran. Then, a state senator put his name on the ballot. He had no money and no support from the state (or national) party apparatus. In fact, they even refused to endorse him. Yeah, he lost, as did Bill Jones -- by about the same amount as RINO Carly and Meg did after spending gazillions and having the RINO establishment back them.
You really have to dig below the surface to understand what is happening in California. You cannot assume it is the same as MD.
I was arguing that trying to convince llarge groups of liberals in states like NY to suddenly vote conservative wont work, and that Republicans acting as liberals backfires on them (My main point) just to make clear.
And I fully agree with that. But getting liberals to vote for conservatives is not the only way to win elections (as a conservative). That was my point.
D1, a number of your comments were about conversion of voters to conservatism. I have made hundreds of comments on that subject myself. “Selling conservative proposals’ is a phrase I have used for years here at FR.
But consider this thought : converting liberal leaning (middle left) voters that liberalism is bankrupt and conservatism is our national (and personal) salvation is something that can only be done successfully by a conservative communicator like Reagan. The Angles and Palin’s (just for example) are only going to get the current believers. They don’t have the Reagan magic, not close.
They would just get crusified without convincing, in fact they already were.
Thanks for the additional good examples CalCowGirl.
BTW: I agree with the premise SickOfLibs addresses to..., to a point. Let’s not forget that some of these liberal states were won by none other than Ronald Reagan.
You have to make a connection to people. If you give the right focused bedrock speech, one that people can identify with, “Hey, you know, that makes sense to me...”, you can win over people.
Not everyone on the left is an automaton.
With Obama and his policies on the table, every state in this nation is ripe for the picking.
Okay, I appreciate the fact that you have made that case.
You’re not going to get an argument out of me regarding Palin or Angle. I agree.
You’ll have to speak up on specific issues. You’ll have to be genuine. You’ll have to take what may seem like unpopular stands to some. Who does that these days?
People don’t necessarily have to agree with you 100%. They have to be able to trust you. If you explain yourself and follow through with resolve they’ll know you’re genuine.
You can’t say you’re a member of the tea party and then back a crass back-stabber who would sell out this nation at the drop of a hat.
It does take a good communicator. And when I say that I’m talking about substance, not a cheerleader.
We agree on a great deal of things.
Oh, I agree. I wasn't trying to say that was not true. And again, my comments were with respect only to California. IMO, conservatives can win by offering an honest, common-sense, constitutionally based vision. And that does rely on having a messenger that people are willing to, or want to listen to. It would also help if there was an objective media... but those type journalists are a dying breed, I'm afraid.
Oh no problem. That was a given. I knew where you stood.
OK I’m back. Today was another work travel day.
Here’s some more rain to support my thinking: The country has become much more liberal than it was 20 years ago. Think about how gays in the military hurt Clinton in 1993 politically. But last year few elected Republicans even talked about it. The polls had changed dramatically on the subject in the past 20 years and Obama knew he had an easy win. (Gates helped too especially with his military surveys.) It was pathetic, barely mentioned on FNC.
Much of this change happened during Bush. There is some backlash over Democrats being in charge more recently (and NJ is a great surprise ) and but I wouldnt over-read it.
Did you ever show up at a party after everyone had gone home?
(Sorry, just jokin' with ya.) :-)
We need a good SE vanity now. Something amusing like “Voters who don't support Palin for president don't deserve to live” or “Is American good enough for Sarah Palin?” or “I've never felt these feelings before that I do Sarah Palin”