King Andrew, also known as Andrew Cuomo of Queens, is the current monarch of New York. King Andrew is known for spending lavishly, imposing high taxes, and dictating great regulatory burdens on local businesses.
He likes to spend the hard-earned money of the people on programs that may sound good (to get him re-elected), but which don’t actually work. His Royal Highness considers it treason to lower taxes for citizens, and he makes it extremely difficult for businesses to operate efficiently and at low costs.
IF IT PLEASES THE CROWN, MAY WE CUT EXCESSIVE SPENDING?
When it comes to the increasing debt of New York, instead of claiming responsibility for the insane amount of government spending that happens in the state, King Andrew places the blame with the county and municipal governments (let’s call them his “earls”). He tells local governments to rein in spending, but the King never seems to cut spending for his own projects. 70 cents for every tax dollar collected goes to state-mandated programs.
Soon that amount will be even higher. Spending is consistently rising in the state and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In 2016, the state received $8 billion in settlements from 20 businesses, and instead of using that money to pay off some of the state debt, it was added to the state budget for capital projects.
NEEDLESS SPENDING IN EDUCATION
When it comes to education, New York spends the most money per student in the entire nation: $20,600 per pupil. King Andrew is proud of that fact because, to him, spending that much money per student shows that he cares about the children. But spending money doesn’t equate to good leadership. And His Royal Highness didn’t always have this mindset. When he was campaigning in 2010, the King held the exact opposite sentiment, claiming that he did not support the traditional answer to education, which has always been to throw more money at the problem. He then said, “we have, and you know what it’s gotten us? A larger and larger bureaucracy and higher salaries for people who work in the education industry.” But now that King Andrew rules, apparently it is good to outspend every other state in the country when it comes to education.
Now add in the Excelsior Scholarship, which offers free tuition to a certain class of the common folk. Free college sounds great and makes King Andrew look good on the surface, but the program doesn’t help who it claims to help. It is a waste of tax money to pay tuition for students who can afford it on their own.
SPENDING MONEY IN THE WRONG PLACES
When it comes to the many problems surrounding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, King Andrew spends money on nonessential makeovers, not any of the real internal problems. He pressured the MTA to spend almost $1 billion on the Enhanced Station Initiative, which included new lighting, signs, and clocks, as well as other upgrades that were not considered necessary by MTA leaders. But these cosmetic upgrades make the stations look good. The King also pushed the MTA to spend money on adding phone chargers, Wi-Fi, and new logos painted on subway cars. All of these decisions valued flashy projects over necessary maintenance; this seems to be a common theme in King Andrew’s reign as governor.
And like most politicians, the King participates in crony corporatism (see more about corporatism in this past blog post). A few years ago, King Andrew announced that the state would spend $55 million to help IBM set up a center in Buffalo, claiming they’d create 500 jobs for the area and additional jobs throughout the state. Currently, only 165 people work at the center, most of which are help-desk jobs, not the high-paying $70,000+ annual salary tech jobs they promised to create. Millions of taxpayer dollars have essentially been gifted to a multi-billion-dollar corporation for no reason other than to make the His Royal Highness look good for his subjects.
IF IT PLEASES THE CROWN, MAY WE KEEP MORE OF OUR OWN MONEY?
New York state has the highest individual tax burden in the nation. Along with the income tax, the high property, sales, and excise taxes in the state make New York the least tax-friendly state in the country. Because of these high taxes, many people are leaving the state, especially those with higher incomes. This leaves an enormous tax burden with the middle class. If King Andrew would kindly allow New Yorkers to keep more of their own money, less people would be inclined to leave the state.
MANDATED PROGRAMS AND HOLLYWOOD TAX BREAKS
As with spending, King Andrew doesn’t take responsibility for the insanely high tax burden in the state and instead shifts the blame to his earls. He said, “When you’re annoyed at high taxes, don’t look at me … the problem has always been property taxes in the state of New York.” What he fails to mention is that 85% of property taxes go toward mandated programs from Albany, like Medicaid and education, not local spending, so when the earls are budgeting for local programs, they only work with 15% of property taxes. It’s hard to believe that King Andrew can’t do more to cut capital spending and lower property taxes.
Although the King considers it treasonous to cut taxes for us lowly plebs, he is more than happy to contribute to corporate welfare by giving huge tax breaks to Hollywood executives. King Andrew wants to walk among Hollywood royalty, and to do so he must offer them $420 million in tax credits. New York City has always been a hot spot for filming because of its beautiful scenery, rich history, and magical ambiance. These tax credits don’t necessary encourage production in the city, but they do encourage the wealthy execs to contribute to Cuomo’s campaigns to keep him on the throne.
IF IT PLEASES THE CROWN, MAY WE CONDUCT BUSINESS IN OUR OWN WAY?
New York is ranked the worst state for economic freedom in the nation. With countless regulations within the market, starting a small business and keeping employees is becoming more and more difficult. Legislation and regulations are combining to hurt the New York economy and the workforce.
REGULATIONS HURT MORE THAN THEY HELP
Starting at the end of this year, minimum wage will be increased to $10.40/hr, and it will gradually increase to $15/hr. Legislating a high minimum wage does not help people earn a living. For one, small businesses cannot afford to pay workers those high wages, so many people will lose their jobs. In fact, these minimum wage increases do the most harm to the low-skilled workers they claim to help. Even established business can’t afford to pay someone with minimal skills $15 per hour, meaning the work force will be cut and jobs will be outsourced or replaced by automation. We all want to help the less fortunate gain experience and increase income, but raising the minimum wage has no positive impact on the rate of poverty and only makes King Andrew appear caring.
Recently, the King has announced new regulations that would require businesses to release employee schedules two weeks in advance. If an employer fails to do so, it must pay the employee for an extra 2 hours of work time. Not only is this paying people for labor not performed, it also means an increase in other costs like social security payments. While it can be annoying to receive last-minute work schedules, these regulations will put a huge strain on a lot of businesses. Many managers are unable to know who will be available for shifts 14 days in advance. It is important for both employer and employee to remain flexible. Like with adding phone chargers and fancy lights on the subway instead of fixing the important problems, His Royal Highness has created this rule so he can appear to appease his subjects, without actually creating jobs or improving the economy.
IT’S TIME TO EMPOWER THE PEOPLE
With King Andrew spends commoner money on outrageous projects, like spending $207 million on advertisements for the state within a 3-year period or reallocating $5 million of the MTA’s budget on bailing out three different ski resorts, the state needs a new leader. Larry Sharpe will empower the people by treating them as equals, not mere peons, by rolling back the Crown and instead allowing New Yorkers to keep more of their own earnings to spend in their local communities where the money is most needed.