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Cuomo Just May Sink This ‘Ship Of State’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York’s “ship of state is stronger than it has been in decades.”

It had better be, because it appears Cuomo is steering it toward an iceberg.

The governor’s State of the State address, delivered Wednesday, measured 12 printed pages of platitudes, promises and plans for the coming year.

Little was mentioned about closing the state’s $6.1 billion budget surplus while much was mentioned about new programs and new spending. The only mention of fiscal responsibility was to point blame at local governments and Social Services departments for cost overruns in the state Medicaid program and hint at asking local taxpayers to pick up more of the tab.

Rather than make the case for fiscal responsibility, the governor doubled down on state spending with unaffordable bond acts to pay for the state’s pipe dream of having all of its energy come from green sources by 2050.

How can the ship of state be as strong as the governor says it is when the state is running a $6 billion deficit during an economic boom? The home state of Wall Street has found a way to spend money faster than it comes in during a time in our history when money is pouring in faster than ever.

Calls to separate Upstate New York from downstate New York have intensified over the past few years. Why is that? The economic gains the governor espoused Wednesday haven’t been as evident, particularly in an area hit with the news that Truck-Lite, a major employer and a company founded in Jamestown and Falconer, is packing up shop. The state education system trumpeted by the governor isn’t turning out the types of employees needed for the work that exists, and the onerous regulations and red tape make running a business in New York harder than it has ever been before. Add to that list of regulations the governor’s desire to follow California’s lead to redefine employment to eliminate freelance and independent contract work.

If New York’s ship of state is so strong, why are there so many fewer people boarding the ship? New York was one of only 10 states to experience a total population decline in 2018-19, its fourth consecutive annual decrease after five years of growth, and the largest population drop in any state. Only West Virginia, Alaska and Illinois saw their populations fall at a faster percentage rate, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

The strong ship Gov. Cuomo envisions himself steering does remind us of One hundred and eight years ago, a ship stronger than any other sank in the Atlantic Ocean because it couldn’t change its course quickly enough when an immovable object appeared on the horizon. No ship is unsinkable, particularly when design flaws in the ship are coupled with poor direction from the ship’s captain.

New York’s progressive policies — and progressive spending — are driving New York state straight into an iceberg. Much like the Titanic, a course correction is needed for New York’s ship of state before the governor sinks the ship.

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