[guest post by JVW]
From National Review Online:
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state is facing a $2.3 billion tax-revenue shortfall, and argued that the deficit can be attributed to the “diabolical” recently passed federal tax-reform package.
Cuomo blamed the loss of tax revenue, the scale of which was unpredicted by state officials, on a provision in the Republican-led tax reform package that capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000, depriving the wealthiest New Yorkers of a significant tax break that defrayed the high state taxes imposed by Albany.
Those New Yorkers affected by the loss of the SALT deduction are now filing their income taxes in other states or using other means to circumvent their tax liabilities, Cuomo seemed to suggest.
Please, someone gently break the news to the Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party that when you raise taxes beyond a certain rate, high earners are bound to take steps to mitigate their liability, as was so readily seen earlier this decade in France. Though it is certainly a fairly easy matter to change states of residence to reduce one’s tax bill, and though switching from one EU country to another is also manageable for one of moderate wealth, progressives who demand increasing federal taxes on the assumption that the rich have nowhere else to go should not overlook the likelihood of assets being moved offshore, beyond the reach of an avaricious Uncle Sam.
Andrew Cuomo is one of the slimier members of the political class: a brutish and nasty thug, devoid of ethics and willing to shamelessly prevaricate for political expediency. Yet he is cynical enough — and sufficiently dialed into the Wall Street power scene — to understand that there is a limit to which socialists can just willy-nilly confiscate money from the rich without driving them elsewhere. Of course, rather than focusing on that aspect of it he prefers to blame the Trump tax cuts for New York’s ills:
“[Capping] SALT was an economic civil war,” Cuomo said at a news conference Monday at the Capitol, referring to the State and Local Tax deduction. “It literally restructured the economy to help red states at the cost of blue states. That’s exactly what it did. It was a diabolical, political maneuver.”
State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli joined Cuomo at the press conference and backed the governor’s bleak assessment of the situation.
“This is the most serious revenue shock the state has faced in many years,” DiNapoli said, endorsing Cuomo’s prescription that spending must be cut in the budget for this fiscal year, which begins April 1.
“We have some of the soundest financial footing this state has ever had,” Cuomo said. “But we must maintain that, and if we know there’s a cut, we’re going to have to take that cut into account when we do this budget and it has to change.”
But let’s see things for how they really are in the Empire State. Andrew Cuomo ran for reelection this past year and faced his most significant challenge from his (far) left flank in the form of actress Cynthia Nixon. Because of that, he was not about to preach the gospel of fiscal discipline in an election year, and he was happy to be seen as the prudent progressive pushing public policy presents. Now that he is safely reelected, suddenly he announces that the money isn’t there — because of Trump, don’t you know — so it’s time to be realistic about spending. New Yorkers have elected this clown to three terms now, so if they resent being jerked around in this manner than it’s really their own damn fault.