Friday, April 27, 2012

Andy Cuomo Copies Obama's Discredited "Stimulus"

Hot on the heels of his last super-duper economic policy initiative - a swank new convention center to serve the dying convention biz in a part of New York that nobody wants to go to - inexplicable rock star New York Governor and Great Hope for 2016, Andrew Cuomo has another spasm of economic genius - retrofit government buildings to be more green.  As if all the green jobs baloney and weather-proofing hooey dished out by the federal government these last few years wasn't self-evidently wasteful and pointless enough.  And it'll only cost us $800 million!!  No worries there, because the lovely Empire State is notoriously solvent in addition to having an estimable record for efficiency and honesty in the provision of public services.

OK, enough with the snark. You know what this is, or at least what it is supposed to be?  It is back door slush money to keep municipalities from feeling the pain of Cuomo's half-assed attempts to stop the ratchet of government growth that is eating the state alive.  Cuomo passed a 2% tax cap for school districts but continues to resist a significant movement for "mandate relief," which is relief from costs that local governments must pay because Albany says so.  So Albany has mandated costs that are growing and yet capped revenues that localities can raise without much to-do.  Many towns are in a sticky situation and are laying off workers and cutting back significantly.  This is not good for local pols.  So Cuomo has to do something to make up for the pickle he's put them in by holding himself out as a reformer that hasn't actually reformed anything because he's too timid.  Cuomo is hoping to coast to re-election on his gay-marriage sainthood but he's got to keep the economic balls in the air.  Thus the need to sprinkle $800 million of funny money around the state.  See Andy juggle.  Juggle, Andy.  Juggle!


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