WHAT CUOMO GOT WRONG
Governor Cuomo's "circuit-breaker" for property taxes is an empty gimmick. Its not a tax cut, its a tax shift. Albany is giving a little money back to some taxpayers with one hand, while the other hand reaches into their wallets and pulls out more and more taxes. We need broad tax cuts, funded by cutting wasteful spending and unfunded mandates. Cuomos gimmicks only add complexity and confusion to the tax system. Cuomo also fails to deliver property tax relief for commercial properties. New York is losing jobs every day, in part due to high property taxes.
New Yorks Economy
Governor Cuomo touts a falling unemployment rate, but its driven by people dropping out of the work force or leaving the state. The Federal Reserve says upstate New York has only gained back half the jobs it lost during the recession. The Fed described upstate as 'really struggling' and 'yet to see meaningful recovery.' New Yorkers dont see the economy improving. Cuomo is living in a bubble if he thinks the economy is doing well. New Yorkers can see the continuing economic decline in their daily lives. The state hasn't turned around; the statistics prove it, and we all see it.
By a two-to-one margin, upstate and suburban New Yorkers want Common Core gone. But, Governor Cuomo is stubbornly staying the course. Common Core isnt working. Parents want it out of our schools. Parents are on the front lines of education, not Governor Cuomo. They see Common Core isnt working. The governor should start listening to New Yorkers on Common Core.
Small businesses across New York are crushed by Albanys high taxes and regulations. They cant afford this new mandate from Cuomo. Even worse, this will hurt minimum wage earners when businesses start cutting jobs. Studies show minimum wage increases lead to less minimum wage jobs. When government tries to artificially mandate a better economy and higher wages, without serious tax cuts and regulatory reform, the good intentions backfire.
We heard nothing from Governor Cuomo on ethics reform. The governor wants to spend tax dollars on political campaigns, but weve seen the corruption that has led to in New York City. Ethics reform means term limits, taking away pensions from crooked politicians and challenging people like Speaker Silver who stand in the way of cleaning up Albany. More money for political campaigns isnt ethics reform.
WHAT CUOMO GOT RIGHT
Charter Schools and Teacher Performance
Governor Cuomo is right, simply spending more and more isnt going to make schools better. We need to provide incentives for good teachers and quickly weed out the ineffective teachers. Charter schools are key to improving education. Charters give kids in failing districts a chance to succeed. We need more charter schools, and they need our continued support. The governor has the right ideas to improve teacher performance. Im looking forward to working together where we agree.
Supporting the Troops and Counter-Terrorism
I was proud to see Governor Cuomos salute to the 10th Mountain Division troops at Fort Drum. They are the tip of the spear in our nations defense. The governor is right to focus on counter-terrorism. New York is a target for terrorists. We need to work together to keep our state secure.