New York Democrats have attained what they have sought for decades: domination of our state government. In 2019, they will control the executive and legislative branches, as well as the offices of state comptroller and state attorney general.
Citizens should expect radical left-wing legislators to have a field day — at their expense.
Democrats will pass scores of wacky bills to expand government intrusion into our daily lives. They will impose more regulations on struggling businesses and more unfunded state mandates on local municipalities. They will increase welfare and Medicaid spending, and there will be expensive giveaways to public employee unions and expanded rent control laws.
To finance the Democrats spending spree and the expanding government bureaucracy expect taxes and fees to skyrocket.
To placate suburban public school teachers, who came out in droves last November to toss Republican state Senators out of office, don’t be surprised if the state’s two percent property tax cap is not extended.
I’m not exactly sure why voters in traditionally Republican-Conservative areas handed over the state government to the big-government crowd, particularly since the record of far-left elected officials and their apparatchiks has been dismal.
Take, for example, the Metropolitan Transit Authority that is controlled by Gov. Cuomo. The agency is a fiscal and administrative nightmare. Despite ever-increasing commuter fares and tens of billions of bonded debt, the MTA remains a maze of poorly managed transportation agencies.
And an array of MTA disasters during the Cuomo years, did not stop the governor from rewarding union employees for failure.
In 2014, to make sure transportation union members stayed on board the Cuomo re-election trolley, the governor gave away the store. Election year contracts included a 7.5 percent retro-pay raise, without any givebacks or cost saving reforms, that cost $1.5 billion more than originally budgeted.
As a result, a majority of the MTA’s 70,000 employees are making more than $100,000 a year.
Former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy recently pointed out in city and state that “the wasteful 2014 (MTA) contracts Cuomo helped broker are a major part of what brought us to this (fiscal mess.)”
To add insult to injury, the lack of political will to enforce fare evasion has resulted in 208,000 riders jumping the turnstiles every day — almost double the average of 109,000 in 2013. In City Journal, transportation expert Nicole Gelinas noted that about two-thirds of the four percent fare increase in 2019 “could be consumed by fare evasion.”
What a disgrace.
Another typical big government disaster is the New York City Housing Authority.
The New York Times has reported NYCHA managed apartments that house 400,000 people “lose heat in the winter … (and) are bedeviled with leaks, mold and lead paint. Entire housing developments are overrun with rats.”
Just before Christmas, residents in one Bronx NYCHA housing project found themselves without running water and had to resort to bucketing water from a fire hydrant.
As a result of years of deferred maintenance, squandered capital project dollars, thousands of back-logged repairs, corrupt and incompetent management and estimates, it will take $20 billion to fix the mess, the federal government is seriously considering seizing control of NYCHA.
Meanwhile, as the city’s floundering leftist mayor, Bill de Blasio, is feebly trying to prevent a federal takeover, the Post reported that many NYCHA plumbers “are tripling their base pay with more than $200,000 in overtime pay.”
Due to space limitations, I can cite only two examples of the awful records of New York’s sprawling government leviathans. And readers should expect more of the same because many of you voted for the Democratic party’s big government agenda.
I can only hope that once the policies of out-of-control Albany lefties hit your pocketbooks there is buyer’s remorse — and that’s it’s not too late to turn the political tide to prevent the state from financial insolvency and an even larger migration of fed up taxpayers and entrepreneurs to tax- and business-friendly states.