New York, New York; “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”, or so said the late great Frank Sinatra. The problem is, not many can seem to make it in the “Empire state” anymore, at least according to the Tax Foundation, as well as my own personal experience. Born and raised in Upstate NY, and having recently returned after 20 years down South, all I can say is I feel like Kurt Russell in the old Sci-Fi flick, “Escape from NY”. It costs too much to live here, and too much to escape.
As much as I love the Adirondacks, the proximity to all of New England and Vermont, the seasonal changes (you know, winter, winter, 2 weeks of summer, then winter again), taxes, tolls, regulations, and an incredibly incompetent government is making it impossible to live here. According to the “Tax Foundation”, NY State is second only to New Jersey for extreme taxation and a negative business climate. The Tax Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank founded in 1937 that collects data and publishes research studies on tax policies at the federal and state levels. The group is most famous for its annual calculation of Tax Freedom Day (WikiPedia) for the United States, which it has produced since the early 1970s. The Foundation’s mission is to educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government.
Albany, the state capital, is the epitome of big government gone insane. According to one annual survey, New York State ranked third among states in the number of government employees, with nearly 1.2 million “full-time equivalent” employees, which includes full-time and part-time workers. Among them were 71,600 local police officers, 48,596 transit workers, and 9,543 library employees. New York is second only to California (New York Sun) and boy, they sure are in tip top shape, a state in the red by billions, or should I say “blue”…
So let’s not get into how historically Democrat controlled New York has declined to such a “state”. Who the hell is in charge right now, who is the head coach, the CEO, who is calling the shots? Governor David Patterson, for all those South of the Mason Dixon, is currently running the state, into the ground, and he wasn’t even elected. Anyone remember Elliot Spitzer? A casualty of the world’s oldest profession, (other than politics as usual of course), he was busted for paying over $80,000 for prostitutes, (while on the clock), Patterson was then elevated to status of “Governor” without a single voter recruited by ACORN, dead or alive…
So what has Governor Patterson done thus far to save this one great state from declining even further down the charts? I defer to local Albany political talk show host Al Roney:
“Governor Paterson has done something epic. He’s managed to anger almost every man, woman and child in the entire state. While some of his proposals do have merit (I’ll get to those on another day), the list of new taxes and fees is off the charts. A listener summed them up brilliantly by calling it a Tax Tsunami. It’s tough to know where to begin. New taxes and/or fees on health insurance, Soda, Beer, Wine, Clothing, footwear, hair-cuts, gyms, movies, sporting events, taxis, limos, buses, television, radio, cigars, luxury items, internet downloads (music, movies software, photos, games and text), vehicle licensing and registration, license plates, fishing, camping, marina usage, race horses and filing your income tax return!”
Maybe SNL had it right, depicting him as a bumbling buffoon, blind to the blight facing the state …no pun intended.
Now with taxes increasing and opportunity declining, you would think at least New York State would offer some “relief” through the adult beverage industry. Think again (Syracuse.Com)…
“Governor Paterson’s budget proposal more than doubles the state’s beer excise tax from 11 cents to 24 cents in hopes of generating revenue for the state will ultimately have the opposite effect. The excise tax increase will raise the cost of beer, decrease volume sold, thus negatively impacting sales and eliminating jobs. Beer already pays its fair share of taxes. On average, 40 percent of the cost of each beer is made up of taxes”. — Steven Harris, President, New York State Beer Wholesalers Association
So now you cant even “guzzle” your problems away, as the state taxes its citizens into oblivion…
Yet another “sin tax” further limits New Yorkers ability to “escape” the realities of this oppressive State, with tobacco now analogous to terrorism. Yet its consumption is used to fund “children’s health care”?
“Using tobacco tax increases to fund health care for low-income children is a bad idea. As the taxes imposed on tobacco products increase, revenues are likely to fall — requiring increases in other taxes. In addition, small businesses and their employees are likely to suffer, and the impact on public health is likely to be negligible, or even negative.” David Weeks – The National Center for Policy Analysis
So in addition to the Tax Foundation’s appraisal, how is all that big government working for New York? Sorry comrades, not so much, kinda like the Federal “stimulus” bill that was supposed to “save” jobs and save us all…Governor David Patterson said the state budget deficit this year may reach $3 billion (Bloomberg), up from $2.1 billion the Division of Budget estimated July 30. Guess what comes next, at least if you’re a liberal Democrat…more of the same, tax and spend.
So maybe there is a method behind the NY State madness; they finally found a way to force all conservatives to move! Take your tax revenue, your spending habits, hell even those private sector jobs you create, and LEAVE! Guess the state has a plan to find more money to give away…but from whom? Case in point, the most listened to talk show host in America, 20 years running, (no not Al Franken), the great one, founder of the “Excellence In Broadcasting” Network, Rush Limbaugh is GONE (Fox News)!!!
Rush sums up his decision,New York’s problem (andAmerica’s) in one paragraph, something liberals just can’t seem to do, from healthcare proposals to teleprompter speeches…
“Folks, it’s axiomatic: when you raise taxes on an activity, you reduce that activity. People start doing that activity less. In this case: working. I’m going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York… I’ll sell my condominium. I’m going to get out of there totally, ’cause this is just absurd, and it’s ridiculous — and it isn’t going to work. It’s punishing the achievers for the mistakes and the lack of discipline on the part of a bunch of corrupt politicians that have run that city and state into the ground for I don’t know how many years — and I, for one, am not going to take the blame for it.” -Rush Limbaugh
Whine if you will, pull your hair, bite your nails, gnash your teeth, call him a bigot, racist, Nazi, or just pick one of the dozens of other personal attacks thrown at him daily. You can guzzle all the kool aid you want and put on your blue shaded denial glasses, but Mr. Limbaugh paid his “fair share” of taxes for the once great EmpireState. That was until he told them to “Drop dead”, and moved all operations to Florida. I can hear the screeching from the loony left as I type, “good riddance”, “don’t let the door hit your fat ass on the way out”, quoting a Democrat class act state politician. Of course, there was Governor Paterson, thanking Limbaugh for his years of paying exorbitant taxes to his state with his gracious comment (New York Times), “If I knew that would be the result, I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.” And I thought liberals didn’t have a sense of humor. God help us all….
It comes down to reality and its fine with me cause I’ve let it slide
Don’t care if its Chinatown or riverside
I don’t have any reasons, I’ve left them all behind
I’m in a New York state of mind…