It’s often said that acceptance is the first step toward change. I tend to agree. So to hear Governor Cuomo finally acknowledge the other day that states must compete with each other for business, I thought we might be finally getting somewhere. It was, after all, the core message of my campaign for governor last year. As a state, are we winning or are we losing? That is the question I posed to every New Yorker.
With just a quick look at the stats, the answer couldn’t be more clear.
- Ranked 49th out of 50th in business friendliness
- Highest taxes, energy costs
- Poor fiscal health
- Most outmigration of population
- Most corruption
The list goes on and the numbers don’t lie. But what I experienced in my travels across our beautiful state was that most people didn’t need to hear the facts to believe because they’ve felt it. In watching their neighbors leave, their businesses closing, their paychecks dwindling. During the short duration of my campaign alone, there were numerous news stories of companies leaving New York. This is a state on its knees.
My friend Governor Perry famously challenged Governor Cuomo to a debate on the economic and jobs policies of New York and Texas. Texas is one of the fastest growing states and he made no bones about wanting to lure jobs with his pro-growth policies.
But there’s the rub. Cuomo may have finally reached acceptance in saying, “there is constant competition among the states and if you’re not careful, you will wind up losing a lot of businesses because the other states are going to be more competitive,” but the problem lies entirely in his feeble solution to dish out massive government subsidies to his hand-picked winners. Meanwhile, he has done nothing to fundamentally change the horrible business climate that is acting as a repellant to job creators.
New York leads the pack in corporate welfare. What’s even more insidious is the cycle of campaign donations that magically fill the Governor’s coffers following his deals. It’s a broken, corrupt system where the only winners are the politicians and their pals.
The answer to our problem is not complicated, nor revolutionary. It’s a tried and true policy prescription that has worked brilliantly in states of all stripes.
Cutting taxes, truly fixing the state’s structural spending problem and reforming overbearing, burdensome regulations is the only way to rebound the state’s economy. Try as he might–and believe me, he’s trying–the Governor can’t spend his way out of this. The money eventually runs out and the moment that happens, they will pick up and leave.
But as long as Governor Cuomo views taxpayer subsidies as the key to economic success, New York will continue losing the jobs game.