New York's Gubernatorial Gift

Patrick Ruffini doesn’t scoff at the myriad new taxes and fees New York Governor Paterson is hoisting atop the flagpole. He calls it “a gift on so many levels.” Of course, it remains to be seen if conservatives (and Republicans) recognize this and run with it, or if they will be found beside the Christmas tree playing in the big empty box.

This is eerily reminiscent of the sky high Dinkins-Cuomo hotel occupancy tax rates. When Rudy Giuliani cut them, it sent an immediate signal that New York was open for business, literally and figuratively. Our candidate for governor, and it could be Giuliani, now has a ready-made issue: kill the iTunes tax. And restore a sense in which New York is one state, not an agglomeration of petty interests to be bought off by tax differentials. Comically, Paterson is going to force you to drink diet soda by taxing it less and directing the proceeds to obesity prevention. (No word yet on Albany’s obese state budget.)

This is a template that could resonate state-to-state.

It should be like the sleepy getting an alarm clock wrapped crisply and tied with a bow. Ruffini states that three things should be done in light of the new scheme, which could prove a state-level governance version of a viral video.

  • First, governor’s races should be a massive focus of attention in then next two years.
  • Second, Republicans at the state level need to get their story straight on tax increases and bailouts.
  • Third, with out-of-control health care costs being a big driver of spending at the state level, will the GOP put forward a compelling agenda on controlling health care costs?

Not entirely optimistic the sleepy will respond to the clanking alarm clock going off under the tree, but it is refreshing to see yet another clear-thinking example of how so many of the solutions are farther from Washington and closer to you.

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