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Andrew Cuomo is Horrible

[ 99 ] June 30, 2011 |

Despite Andrew Cuomo’s admirable push for gay marriage, he is a horrible governor. As a “Democrat,” Cuomo has declared war on unions, on the environment, and on everything Democrats theoretically stand for, outside of gay marriage. And again, while his stance on that single issue is to his significant benefit, Cuomo is atrocious. After his pro-fracking announcement today, I was going to unload, but Steve M beat me to it and I’ll leave it to him and those Steve links to:

The Cuomo administration is expected to lift what has been, in effect, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technology used to extract natural gas from shale, people briefed on the administration’s discussions said on Thursday.

Administration officials are discussing maintaining a ban on the process inside New York City’s sprawling upstate watershed, as well as a watershed used by the city of Syracuse, according to people briefed on the plan. But by allowing the process in other parts of the state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would open up New York to one of the fastest-growing — critics would say reckless — areas of the energy industry….

Hydrofracking has spurred intense protests from environmental activists, who say it threatens the cleanliness of ground water….

It isn’t just the fracking. There’s a lot more to dislike about the guy if you’re a progressive, as Eric Alterman recently noted:

The same liberal Democrat who fights for gay marriage is presiding over a budget agreement that will cost New York City schools 2,600 teachers, 600 more than estimated, and lay off 1,000 city workers, many of whom work in health care for the poor, at a time when the need for both could hardly be greater. Cuomo, who one must sometimes remind oneself, is a Democrat, also fought tooth and nail to ensure the death of New York’s millionaire tax, at exactly the moment when its proceeds might have been able to prevent exactly the kinds of cuts described above. In his willingness to play “bulldog for the rich,” as Michael Powell puts it, he is distinguishable from Roger Ailes’ favorite politician, right-wing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie only in degree, rather than in kind.

And if you can judge a guy by his friends, here are some of Cuomo’s:

“Looking for a tax-cutting, budget-slashing, fiscally conservative governor? How about Andrew Cuomo?” wrote the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner back in February.

“Cuomo’s performance thus far has advanced the cause of limited government in the Empire State far more than did his past three predecessors,” enthused Deroy Murdock in April.

Cuomo in 2016? Reihan Salam can get down with that. “Imagine a presidential election pitting a budget-cutting Democratic governor against a budget-cutting Republican governor,” Salam wrote. “That would be, in my view, an excellent outcome for fiscal conservatives.”

Even Carl Paladino has praised Cuomo.

So if he’s the 2016 candidate against Chris Christie, update your passport.

I’ll only add this: Cuomo has a clear vision–to be the ultimate centrist, thinking he can squeak through the 2016 presidential primary against other, presumably real Democrats who actually share the vision of the post-1933 Democratic Party and then triangulate himself into the presidency, where he will make us all long for the halcyon Clinton and Obama days, when a Democrat knew how to stand up to a Republican.

Except that I don’t think he can do it. I don’t think the bastard can withstand a Democratic primary, unless we let his single good and admirable position outweigh the fact that he doesn’t care about working-class people or the environment or essentially any other traditional Democratic issue. Certainly I would not vote for Andrew Cuomo for president, not in a primary and not in a general election.

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Comments (99)

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  1. Galrahn says:

    The view from Albany is apparently very different from the city. State government was on the brink under Patterson. The state didn’t pay a ton of bills last year for nearly 6 months, I know – as I got the IOU framed. Clearly you have never worked and tried to pay a mortgage when the government wasn’t paying you. It was bad dude.

    Honestly, do some homework with your friends, there is some seriously uninformed information being peddled about how close NY was to defaulting billions in state gov contracts before Cuomo came in.

    Yeah, he’s made some very tough spending and policy choices, but it’s about time someone is making tough decisions. Also, the teachers union signed the agreement – they know it could have been much worse. The money isn’t there, and money is fleeing New York. The options that existed in most of those choices aren’t even being looked at by critics, it’s just complaining. The fracture issue is a great example, it is alot more complicated than the way that guy presented the issue. Why? Dig a bit and you’ll start to understand the damage Patterson did.

    Shallow and weak.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      Let’s say you are right, which, while I can’t speak much to Patterson’s mismanagement, sounds like essentially a recapitulation of neoliberal arguments.

      Fracking? Really? What is this, Rick Perry? Fracking?

      Even if he is right on the economic stuff, which I clearly don’t believe he is, how does this then justify something as loathsome as fracking?

      • richard says:

        He’s Rick Perry because he disagrees with you on fracking? Based on the PRELIMINARY news reports, it seems he is going to allow fracking in some parts of the state under certain regulations but start closing down nuclear power plants. I dont know enough about the science (and doubt that you do either) to have an intelligent opinion as to whether fracking under the regulations that Cuomo is proposing is “loathsome” or unwise.

      • MAJeff says:

        Even if he is right on the economic stuff, which I clearly don’t believe he is, how does this then justify something as loathsome as fracking?

        Capital won.

      • Norman....- T.homasThe Socialist. says:

        …something as loathsome as fracking?

        Environmentalists were for fracking before they were against it.

      • David M. Nieporent says:

        I see the left-wing war on science is in full swing. One wonders precisely what credentials Erik Loomis has to decide that fracking — which has been in use for decades — is “loathsome.”

      • Galrahn says:

        Erik –

        From my perspective your arguments were weak because they attempted to forward simple narratives to very complex problems. If New Yorkers honestly believe there are obvious or easy choices to be made on policy issues in Albany right now, they are poorly informed.

        Gov Patterson lacked the depth to understand the complexity involved in issues related to state economic and tax policy passed from the last several administrations, and his bunch didn’t seem to care how the economic downturn was converging several outstanding issues together at once. Cuomo has set out to deal with issues that have long been ignored, and I understand if some of the choices along the way leave folks scratching their head. I don’t agree with all of the choices Cuomo is making, but I do appreciate they are very difficult policy choices.

        It’s going to take time, I think, to see what Gov Cuomo is trying to do. Remember, we are only 3 months past year one.

        For example, the personal income tax code, the state corporation tax code, the NYC tax code, and the very high property taxes have created a very complicated state tax structure where even minor changes to one part can cause several unintended consequences. This stacks up against Federal tax code, which impacts New York differently than most states, because both incomes and cost of living in New York is higher than most other states. If someone makes 100,000 in New York City, that doesn’t go near as far as someone making 100,000 upstate, which doesn’t go near as far as someone making 100,000 in all of the surrounding states – and that’s just cost of living, never mind the higher tax rates and higher property taxes New Yorkers already pay. For decades Governors didn’t pay attention to tax policy consequences, and when the economy turned south, it hit certain areas of the state very hard while barely impacting others because of the lack of a coherent tax policy. Housing also plays a role in all of this.

        There are also decades worth of tax shelters that must be addressed across the entire range from farms to Wall Street. A lot of these tax breaks came together over many years in small pieces for reasons that no longer even apply today, and the whole thing is a giant clusterfuck. Albany is not exactly a place known for its history of thoughtful governance. The Cuomo folks appear to really understand (or at least are trying to) how all the disparate pieces fit together, and they appear to be working on plans that allows them to propose large changes that avoid the unintended consequences that have been ignored for many years in previous administrations.

        By taking a holistic approach, it is indeed possible the rich wouldn’t be taxed at a higher rate, but that would also come with removing many tax shelters that those rich people were using to protect huge sums of money that would otherwise be collected as tax. Like I said, things are more complex than simple narratives and political slogans allow.

        New York leaders are also dealing with several problems where there are simply no good choices because New York needs to fix their long term financial situation. There are significant workforce issues on the short term horizon that are going to create very big problems as the early tier retirement systems get stressed by baby boomers. If you don’t understand the tier 1-5 retirement systems, look into it, but for the next couple decades the retirement systems for New York State employees are going to pay out many, many billions that were never paid in at all.

        It is one thing to support unions, I’m in a union and love my union, but I don’t think New Yorkers appreciate how much influence unions have had over Albany for decades and how it has influenced towards obscene waste that exceed the standards of the worst corruption imaginable. Cuomo is looking to rebalance those union contracts as they expire so they are more responsible, a difficult walk but one the current union leaders recognize is good long term for everyone. Some of the negotiating points will often look like an ugly political fight, but in the end I strongly believe the results will likely be good for union workers and the state.

        Personally, I have found a great deal of admiration watching Cuomo deal with the crazy batshit of Albany, but I am admittedly very close to it all.

        As for Fracking, there are thousands of jobs, not to mention large investments tied up in this technology for New York already, and as some have observed, environmental groups were for it before they were against it. Cuomo’s broader economic policy has tried to change the culture of business in New York where the Cuomo folks try not to say no to any investment opportunities, like fracking, but the state makes very clear they will be extra cautious with regulation and oversight. So far I think the model has been remarkably responsible, because it signals to businesses that NY is a pro business state without conceding high standards or regulatory controls to committees that can be corrupted.

        New York is not making the same mistakes California did as the state tries to both rebuild confidence for businesses and address problems in Albany that have been lingering for decades. When these problems were exposed with severely damaging effects by the broader national economic downturn, Patterson didn’t manage the crisis well at all.

        In his first year, the evidence to date suggests Cuomo has done very well sending positive signals to business while playing the long game towards Albany fixing several long ignored problems.

        • rea says:

          taking a holistic approach

          Well, hell, I certainly wouldn’t vote for someone who advocates a “holistic approach” to government. Talk about your meaningless buzzwords . . .

          • richard says:

            Well Galrahn pretty succintly explains what that means in this case. it can be a meaningless buzzword in some contexts, its certainly not that in his post.

    • David Kaib says:

      money is fleeing New York

      What’s the basis for this claim?

      • Galrahn says:

        Gross State Product 2008 = 1,144,481
        Gross State Product 2009 = 1,093,219
        Gross State Product 2010 = 1,114,000

        Subtract tax free incentive GSP added throgh Empire Zones and other such measures over the last two years and it starts to get ugly, and you’ll also find state tax revenues were taking a hit even as property taxes were rising all over the state to deal with the education crunch.

        • Holden Pattern says:

          And that shows that money is fleeing NY how, exactly? To where? Recessions clobbered everybody (including Texas, home of the low-wage, low-tax, low-services miracle).

          • Galrahn says:

            The same evidence that shows rich people will not flee New York if taxes were raised on the rich shows that fewer rich people are in New York.

            There is also a study by Dep. of Tax and Finance that specifically highlights that the single biggest problem to the 2009 and 2010 budget was due to the number of high earning tax payers in NY decreasing. Noteworthy, that study also showed that there is no evidence of causality to suggest that simply raising taxes on rich people will cause them to flee.

            That specific detail “that raising taxes on the rich will not cause them to flee” has got a lot of media coverage, but the detail that the number of high income earners in New York was decreasing didn’t seem to get much coverage.

            The amount of tax revenue not being collected from the top tier of wage earners became fairly significant in 2009 and 2010, and created enough of a problem in 2009 that Patterson had to call for a special assembly to deal with the unfortunate budget shortfall.

            I do not know where those people went, but the recession impact to state revenue has not been trivial, and by percentage the rich earners in NY who paid the most tax to the state got hurt the most because that is where the biggest shortfall from tax estimates occurred.

          • Galrahn says:

            Last comment.

            There is another remarkable study I have seen that shows the single most damaging Federal regulation to negatively impact NY State economically is the Patriot Act.

            It is a remarkable study, as it details how the Patriot Act acts as a firewall that prevents bringing overseas business investment to New York and causes significant challenges to bringing foreign monetary investment to the stock exchanges.

            The negative economic impacts to NY of the Patriot Act far exceeds that of every federal environmental regulation combined.

    • GeoX says:

      How the fuck can a guy who insists on tax cuts for the rich be considered remotely fiscally responsible? And how come “tough decisions” invariably screw working people?

    • wengler says:

      It’s too bad that New York isn’t infested with parasitical creatures making millions and billions of dollars that could be taxed.

      Oh wait they’re all fleeing…to the Hamptons.

    • soullite says:

      I really wish you people would just be honest and say “I’m a conservative democrat, and I believe…” instead of pretending to be liberals and supporting these choices more in sorrow than in anger.

      • richard says:

        Because “us people” disagree with your premise. I’ve always considered myself to be a liberal and feel the same way today. I don’t consider that to be dishonest. I try to make my points on certain issues (and try to avoid inflamed rhetoric). I don’t label people who disagree with me bastards. I don’t know why you want me to label me, call me dishonest for claiming to be a liberal or get me to confess to being a conservative.

  2. richard says:

    How about toning down the rhetoric a bit. Horrible, bastard (?), no different than Christie, atrocious? Come on, he succeeded a disaster as governor (Patterson) and has done exactly the things he said he would do when campagning for the office. He said the finances of the state were in trouble and tough decisions would have to be made that didn’t include raising taxes during a recession. So far, he’s shown an ability to get things done (in the face of significant obstacles to the contrary) and I would be surprised if he sought the 2016 nomination and didnt get it. And taking isolated comments from Paladino, Salam and Tanner out of context doesn’t prove your case.(Paladino praised Cuomo’s endorsement of a 2 percent cap on property taxes but blasted his proposed judgment)

    And how the fuck do you know what his ultimate plans are and that he wants to squeak into the White House so that he can destroy the Democratic legacy and agenda? It seems to me that he wants to be a good governor, like his dad, and then see what happens

    • Erik Loomis says:

      How does the approval of fracking remotely suggest a good governor?

      How does attacking unions instead of raising taxes on New York’s many rich people suggest a good governor?

      • richard says:

        The “approval” of fracking from the news articles I just read is somewhat limited – to certain parts of the states and under certain regulations. Neither you nor I have the scientific background to evaluate that proposal (especially since the regulations aren’t going to come out until tomorrow from what I read). Maybe after you’ve read the regulations and see what informed people have to say, the criticism will be justified.

        And I don’t think what Cuomo has been doing is attacking the unions. From what I read, he made the argument that certain cuts had to be made, that these cuts included benefits to union members and then, through collective bargaining, got the unions to agree with some cuts. He’s still negotiating with other unions and is a tough negotiator. From what I’ve read, the unions, while not happy with cuts, have not attacked him as a Perry or a Walker or a Christie. Most current polls show him with a 64% favorable rating among the general public and 63% favorable with union households.

        Also, from what I’ve read (again with the caveat that I’m not an economist or a tax expert), a tax increase on New York’s millionaires was projected to raise only a limited amount of money, not nearly enough to balance the budget (New York, like most states and unlike the federal government, is not allowed to borrow money to finance the government).

        • Erik Loomis says:

          I am following the environmental science, virtually all of which suggests that fracking is problematic at best, disastrous at worst. I am not a scientist, but I am an environmental historian who reads environmental science when relevant. And I have seen nothing–nothing at all–to suggest that fracking can work from an environmental standpoint. See the likelihood that fracking caused the outbreak of earthquakes in Arkansas this year as one example; though yet unproven, all signs point to fracking as the cause.

          • Njorl says:

            There’s nothing inherently wrong with fracking. Exempting it from the clean water act was the problem. Regulations do work. There are thousands of industries which would gladly poison us all if it were legal, fracking isn’t exceptional.

            That being said, fracking shouldn’t be allowed anywhere that the damage caused would be more than what could be recovered by regulatory enforcement.

            • Anonymous says:

              Exempting it from the clean water act was the problem.

              This, a million times this.

              The clean water act may not be a perfect piece of legislation, but it fucking works.

        • Bill Murray says:

          a tax increase on New York’s millionaires was projected to raise only a limited amount of money, not nearly enough to balance the budget

          and so because the entire amount needed could not be obtained from taxing millionaires means their taxes should not be raised? Really that’s your argument?

          I’ll counter with letting 2600 teachers go would only release a limited amount of money, not nearly enough to balance the budget, so they did not need to be let go. This makes as much sense as your argument.

          The point being of course nothing will by itself will close a large gap, and as everyone has a stake in a well-run budget balanced state, all people and corporations should contribute according to their ability, not according to whom neo-liberal economics favors

          • Galrahn says:

            Tax policy issues in New York State is far more complicated than tax rates on personal incomes. If you try to simplify NY tax policy in that way, you simply advertise how little you know about NY tax issues.

            Most people in Albany do not see the personal tax rate as the big tax issue for the state, rather most experts see the tax shelters and inconsistent tax policies that do not factor how NYC, Corp, Personal, and Property taxes impact each other.

            The release of 2600 teachers was a Union agreed negotiated point. It is very hard to look at a single negotiated point in that agreement and cast blame on any single party when both parties agreed to it as part of a large, complex union agreement.

            Hopefully you are intelligent enough to realize the Union traded 2600 teachers for something else the Union thought was just as important.

            • Bill Murray says:

              Hopefully you are intelligent enough to realize that I was making a somewhat hyperbolic statement to show what a stupid point Richard was making.

              I was not trying to simplify the tax code, but point out that just because increasing taxes on those with the money will not cover the entire amount needed is not a reason to not raise their taxes (or as Cuomo did lower their taxes making a larger hole in the budget)

    • dangermouse says:

      Thank you for that delightful kaleidoscope of fallacies and nonsequiturs.

    • dangermouse says:

      Tell me some more about the tough decisions that he toughly decided in a tough decisive manner.

    • Murc says:

      That’s complete weaksauce, richard. Where shall I begin?

      he succeeded a disaster as governor (Patterson) and has done exactly the things he said he would do when campagning for the office.

      Which has precisely what to do with the price of tea in China? Doing the things you said you’d do during your campaign doesn’t make you a good governor unless you said you would do good things.

      He said the finances of the state were in trouble and tough decisions would have to be made that didn’t include raising taxes during a recession.

      So you’re making Erik’s points for him, now? Raising taxes during a recession isn’t a bad thing if you do it right. FDR levied some colossal tax increased on the nation during the Great Depression and they worked out just great. The man actively supported tax cuts on New York’s most comfortable citizens at a time when the state needs every dime it can get to help those who are struggling.

      So far, he’s shown an ability to get things done (in the face of significant obstacles to the contrary)

      Again: so. fucking. what? Getting things done is not, by itself, a good thing. You only get credit for it if you do good things.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah you’re right. He’s a horrible disgusting bastard who only wants to destroy the working class of new York and then sneak into the white house where he can do that to the entire nation. Don’t know why I didn’t realize that

        By the way my reference to getting things done despite obstacles was a reference to gay marriage. And Cuomo, as far as I know, didn’t lower taxes for millionaires. He just didn’t raise their taxes

        And of course the fact that he is wildly popular among democrats and union households is of no import

        • Murc says:

          I’m gonna assume you’re richard.

          Yeah you’re right. He’s a horrible disgusting bastard who only wants to destroy the working class of new York and then sneak into the white house where he can do that to the entire nation.

          I said that? Cite please.

          By the way my reference to getting things done despite obstacles was a reference to gay marriage.

          And he deserves legitimate kudos for that. It was a great good thing he helped to do and whatever plaudits he gets are well-deserved.

          And Cuomo, as far as I know, didn’t lower taxes for millionaires. He just didn’t raise their taxes

          To be precise, he actively opposed a revenue-raising measure aimed at the most well-heeled segments of society at a time when the state desperately needs said revenue to help the least fortunate amongst us.

          And of course the fact that he is wildly popular among democrats and union households is of no import

          Depends. A politicians personal popularity means a lot of things in a lot of contexts. It means absolutely nothing in the context of ‘is he governing well and promoting good policies?’

          • Richard says:

            Actually Eric made the first argument not you. But you seem to concede th at he didnt lower taxes for millionaires, just opposed a new tax. My point is a simple one. I’m not going to defend every action he’s taken but he seems to have avoided a fiscal crisis, hasnt tanked the economy and isn’t a horrible despicable bastard as claimed by Eric in his blog

    • soullite says:

      How about you stop telling other people what they should think?

      I’m a total dick to these people because I think they are abhorrent twits. However, I limit myself to ridiculing and disagreeing with them, I don’t suggest that they should censor themselves because they have personally offended me.

      • richard says:

        I didn’t tell anybody what to think. I just asked that the rhetoric be turned down. For the most part, this is a pretty civil forum (which is why I participate). IMHO, that atmosphere is threatened when the newest blogger, who posts nearly every day, refers to the governor of New York as “the bastard”.

  3. […] At Lawyers, Guns, and Money. His lifting the hydrofracking ban really is almost as bad as marriage equality is good. […]

  4. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    Andrew : Mario :: Evan : Birch :: Jerry : Pat

    (though the last is probably more controversial)

    • Erik Loomis says:

      Though given Jerry’s veto of the bill protecting farmworkers, from pesticide poisoning yesterday, I’d say that Jerry is certainly trying to be worse than Pat.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

        I was thinking of that veto when I added Jerry to the list. However, it really wasn’t surprising.

        In the 1970s, Jerry was, in many ways, a “New Democrat” avant le lettre.

        He supported Prop 13 during his first term as governor.

        The fact that he was the progressive alternative to Clinton in 1992 says a lot more about the state of the party than about Brown’s progressivism (heck, Dollar Bill Bradley was the “progressive alternative” in Y2K!)

        • richard says:

          He opposed Prop 13 when it was on the ballot. I remember that election well. After it overwhelmingly passed (a terrible result), he said he would enthusiastically enforce it but he did not support the ballot measure

          Also the veto of the Farm Workers bill yesterday was not just a veto of the pesticide provision. It was a wholesale reform of the state Ag Labor Board and organizing rules. I’m not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion on the merits of the bill but it is grossly misleading for Eric to claim that Brown vetoed a bill protecting farmworkers from pesticide poisoning.

            • richard says:

              Read the article, Eric. She says accurately that he vetoed card check legislation and reform of the Ag Labor Board, NOT that he vetoed legislation regarding use of pesticides. She seems to be making the argument (likely a good one) that the bill would have led to more unionization amoung farmworkers, would strengthen their position and they would be able to bargain and petition for better rules on pesticides but the legislation he vetoed, at least from reading her article, was not pesticide poisoning legislation.

              But I’m willing to do this -I will read the bill that Brown vetoed and if it deals with pesticide poisoning I will concede that he vetoed a bill that, at least in part, provided pesticide poisong protection to farmworkers. Eric, are you willing to do the same and if the bill contains no such provisions, concede that your description of the bill was mistaken?

              • Richard says:

                So read the bill which Brown vetoed. It only had to do with farmworker organizing. Not a word about pesticides. The bill had nothing to do with protecting workers from pesticide poisoning. You can criticize Brown all you want-I’m not a big fan and he might have been wrong to veto this bill- but he didn’t veto a bill protecting workers from pesticide poisoning

          • richard says:

            Furthermore, its somewhat stupid to compare Jerry and Pat (I’m a lifelong Californian and have voted for both). Pat was governor during California’s golden age and, with a prosperous economy and bulging state coffers, did a tremendous amount of good things (although he also allowed the execution of Carol Chessman for an offense that did not include the taking of a life). Jerry governed and now governs during times of much less economic bounty. Pat was no flaming liberal – he was a moderate Democrat who had the monetary resources to do some great things (primarily the University system and highways, parks and infrastructure).

            • papa zita says:

              What made that era such a golden age? Part of it was certainly higher taxes with commensurately more government revenue.

              Ah, for the good old days.

              P.S. Lifelong Californian as well. My father personally knew and liked Pat immensely. Also, too John Moss.

              • Norman....- T.homasThe Socialist. says:

                What made that era such a golden age? Part of it was certainly higher taxes with commensurately more government revenue.

                Well, the answer is obvious!

                Just tax yourselves into prosperity!

              • Richard says:

                Is it the fact that taxes were higher under Pat? I’m not at all sure that was the case. Sales tax was one third of what it is now. And I’m pretty sure that state income tax was considerably lower. Any facts to support your contention?

          • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

            It’s true that Brown was against Prop 13 before he was for it (I, too, lived in California during those years, though I was not yet old enough to vote). The next time he ran, however, his campaign featured a quotation from Howard Jarvis that Brown would do a great job implementing Prop 13 (I seem to remember this annoyed Jarvis).

            • Richard says:

              You’re right about that but when Prop 13 was on the ballot he opposed it (although I hold him very much responsible for the legislative deadlock on property taxes which led to Prop 13 being on the ballot and passing)

        • Furious Jorge says:

          The fact that he was the progressive alternative to Clinton in 1992

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it that same “progressive” Jerry Brown who was running around the country that same year advocating for a (highly regressive) flat tax?

          • John says:

            As far as I can tell, “progressive” primary candidates are generally judged entirely on the basis of rhetorical positioning, rather than the actual content of their policy.

            The (viable) “progressive” primary candidates of the past several cycles have been John Edward, Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, and Jerry Brown. The last time the “progressive” candidate was actually progressive was Jesse Jackson in 88.

  5. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    My Prediction for “Progressive” Conventional Wisdom (2016 edition): Sure, Andrew Cuomo isn’t perfect, but He’s the Best We Can Do®!

  6. R. Porrofatto says:

    Cuomo has a clear vision–to be the ultimate centrist

    At a time when “centrist” is defined somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon.

    The money isn’t there

    One reason the money isn’t there is that Pataki lowered the top rate to the point where state taxes on the wealthy were at their lowest level since 1953. In 2009 rates were temporarily increased by 1 percentage point on incomes over $200,000, and by about 2 percentage points on incomes over $500,000. Cuomo allowed these to expire, which earned him Pataki’s praise:

    I think he started out exactly right. You have to send a message to people who are looking where they can create jobs that New York is again a place you can do that. Killing the millionaire’s tax, day two in office is the right thing to do.

    As on the national level, so-called conservatives helped engineer a deficit crisis by cutting taxes on rich people and corporations, and then turned around to demand sacrifices from everyone else to make up for it. Following this scheme does not in any way make you a liberal.

    • John Protevi says:

      Thank you for that clear and concise (and correct) analysis.

    • Colin Snider says:

      Echoing John. Everyone treats Patterson like it was his fault the economy was in shambles, when he was clearly dealing with the fallout from Pataki’s administration (given that Spitzer had a whopping 14 months to “fix things” before he resigned). Cuomo hasn’t worked any miracles on New York’s economy yet, and shitting on Patterson for those problems ignores any long-term economic problems confronting New York, problems that Cuomo’s Pataki-approved policies don’t exactly address.

  7. T says:

    How can a gov who is facing budget shortfalls and an economic downturn be criticized for bargaining with unions to ensure the gov workers get paid and services performed???

  8. I wrote off Cuomo when he bailed out of the 2002 gubernatorial primary a week before the election, because he was going to lose and didn’t want to be embarassed. (The only good thing was that it accidentally killed off the moribund Liberal Party.)

  9. Malaclypse says:

    against other, presumably real Democrats who actually share the vision of the post-1933 Democratic Party

    Zombie LBJ is running?

    • Joe says:

      With his Vietnam record, he isn’t workable. Just a war mongerer.

      BTW, Sen. Gillibrand hasn’t been mentioned much around here after she was seen as a lousy choice. I wonder if she is a “real Democrat.” She does seem to support real Democrat position after real Democrat position.

      • Murc says:

        I’m not familiar with these ‘Democrat positions’ of which you speak, nor with the party that adopts them. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

        • Joe says:

          Since “real Democrat” was used, I said “Democrat positions.” The positions would include abortion rights, the end of DADT, the Dream Act, (for Gillibrand) the public option, et. al.

          I’m not some sort of Republican troll, so can we save time with the word police stuff?

          • Murc says:

            There are individual Democrats. There are members of the Democratic Party. Positions held by the latter are ‘Democratic positions.’ If there were a hypothetical Democrat Party, then one could speak of ‘Democrat positions.’ But this political party does not exist, which is odd because Republicans talk about it all the time.

          • John Protevi says:

            There are no word police so monstrous as those that harp — harp, I tell you, simply harp — on the completely innocent and not at all overdetermined use of “Democrat” as an adjective.

    • soullite says:

      He’d probably get more votes than Obama will.

  10. hv says:

    I don’t think the bastard can withstand a Democratic primary, unless we let his single good and admirable position outweigh…

    Presumably, some other Democratic primary candidate might have a similar credential (most federal legislators can claim DADT repeal, for example) so it might be possible to avoid a dramatic rift over gay rights in the primary…

    … and maybe, just maybe, we could see a good bit of progress on gay rights over the next 5 years; and almost everyone serious would have some good deeds on the resume. That isn’t too much to hope for, is it?

  11. Murc says:

    I’ve been waiting for this rant, Erik… and you did not disappoint.

    I didn’t vote for Cuomo, and I never, ever will if I can possibly avoid it. The ads he ran during the gubernatorial race were stomach-churning. I may have considered it if Paladino had had a chance, but I simply didn’t cast a vote for Governor last year.

    If this were Arkansas or some shit Cuomo would have an excuse. This is New goddamn York.

  12. Joe says:

    I hope Prof. Carpenter is doing well. Meanwhile, we will have another Paul Campos.

    • Walt says:

      Do you know what comment sections don’t need more of, Joe? Whiny little bitches. Maybe Erik is completely wrong here. Do you know how you make this case? You make points and shit, instead of staggering around the stage doing your Fred Sanford “Martha, I’m coming to meet you in heaven” routine. See Galrahn’s comments for an instructive example.

      • Joe says:

        We don’t need misogynistic comments about “bitches” either. I make substantive comments all the time; Richard is doing a good job here. I am just stating that Erik is showing the same over the top rhetoric as Paul Campos. It isn’t the first time.

        That’s my “point” here.

        • soullite says:

          No, you’re a great defender of women, like most Democrats.

          It’s poor people and the environment you have a problem with. Clearly, that makes you so much more noble.

      • DocAmazing says:

        Fred Sanford “Martha, I’m coming to meet you in heaven” routine

        A-hem. That’s “I’m coming, Elizabeth!”

  13. Mr. Trend says:

    In the grand scheme of the universe, it’s not vital, but come on, people…it’s “Erik,” not “Eric.” If you’re going to parse the exact nuances of what he says, at least make clear you paid enough attention to read his name correctly.

    • Richard says:

      I, for one, apologize for getting his name wrong and won’t do it again. Kit would be nice, however, if he acknowledged mistakes when he makes them instead of ratcheting up the rhetoric

  14. actor212 says:

    In fairness to Cuomo, and it’s a limited niggle here, he was left standing into the abyss of the debt run up by Pataki’s ill-fated decisions to delay and defer the budget crises he ran up annually by borrowing against the state tax revenues.

    He could have found a better solution. He didn’t. That’s the focus of my complaints against him. He could have raised corporate income taxes or even found a way to reinstate the commuter tax for the city (thus neatly taking some of that gorilla off the state’s back).

    • Joe says:

      He could have raised corporate income taxes? I didn’t know he had the power of the purse. What does the Republican controlled Senate think of that, I wonder.

      • mds says:

        What does the Republican controlled Senate think of that, I wonder.

        Oh, for fuck’s sake. What did the Republican-controlled Senate think of gay marriage before Cuomo mounted a full court press on the issue? Cuomo’s taking victory lap after victory lap on that one, so just for once could you cut the “chief executives are powerless ciphers with no influence whatsoever on legislators or public opinion” horseshit?

        • actor212 says:

          Thanks for the back up. :-)

        • richard says:

          I think gay marriage is totally different from a tax hike. There was some flexibility among Republicans on gay marriage which Cuomo astutely realized and then acted upon. From what I can see, there was absolutely no flexibility on tax hikes. Every Republican was committed to opposing any tax increase.

          • mds says:

            Your argument about Republican intransigence would carry more weight if Cuomo’s initial budget proposal hadn’t already given the game away. Or, as noted in March:

            Cuomo, 53, was elected in November on a promise to balance the budget without raising taxes. He remains opposed to extending beyond Dec. 31 the higher personal income-tax rates approved in 2009, said Joshua Vlasto, a spokesman.

            He ran on not raising taxes, and then extended that to active opposition to retaining even existing tax rates on the richest New Yorkers. So it’s actually irrelevant what Senate Republicans thought, isn’t it?

  15. Joe says:

    The article notes he foreshadowed his position here during the campaign, notes several things he did to please environmental groups, that “a previous version of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s report, known as an environmental impact study, recommended allowing hydrofracking in the watersheds,” quotes the Environmental Advocates of New York as not totally opposed and notes its restrictive nature. You know, just to add a tad bit of nuance.

  16. The fracking thing is troubling, but the places where it is going to happen have been moribund for so long that the coming of an extraction-based economy is literally the only hope they have for every developing any sort of economy at all. Seriously, have you ever been to, e.g. Owego?

    Paterson came into a bad situation. Pataki had spent the preceding decade driving the state into the ground, then Spitzer came in, went to war with everyone, and turned a terrible situation into one that was hopelessly dysfunctional. It is conceivable, if only just barely, that had Spitzer kept more on than his socks Paterson’s senate experience might have proved useful; unfortunately it didn’t play out that way and the poor son of a bitch was left out howling on the moors. Give him credit, he told the truth about what the situation in Albany was.

    New York’s problems are profound and principally structural. Cuomo has demonstrated an ability to deal with one of the chief problems– the broken legislature– that has been remarkable. He isn’t running for President yet. Let’s see how the next few years go. Right this moment I’m keeping my fingers crossed, rapping on wood and tossing salt over my shoulder.

    • soullite says:

      You can always tell the phony screeds. Too long to be spontaneous and too well written to come from passion. Only professionals do work like this.

    • mds says:

      Cuomo has demonstrated an ability to deal with one of the chief problems– the broken legislature– that has been remarkable.

      But, but, he was powerless to keep the millionaires’ tax in place, or raise corporate taxes, or indeed enact any progressive revenue-increasing measures in place of some draconian cuts to services, because the legislature!

    • actor212 says:

      The fracking thing is troubling, but the places where it is going to happen have been moribund for so long that the coming of an extraction-based economy is literally the only hope they have for every developing any sort of economy at all. Seriously, have you ever been to, e.g. Owego?

      As a matter of fact, I own a house in the deep dark recesses of the ass end of the Catskills, which is about as rural as any county in central Alabama, and about as red.

      People there oppose fracking, despite the fact that their livelihoods rely on farms, dairy, and the occasional shale mining operation, which is not much cleaner than fracking.

      That says a lot to me. That they’re willing to let an economic development go away in favor of not worrying about dying tells me they’re scared, and it’s not like they have NYPIRG or the NRDC whispering in their ears.

      The Schneiderman suit is not about stopping fracking and Cuomo is an idiot for not taking a moment, taking a breath, and supporting the suit. Schneiderman wants a full accounting of how companies are going to get the gas out of the ground. Full disclosure and all that. I have no real problem with that.

      After all, it’s not like mining and energy companies have a spotless…pardon me a moment….ahhhhhhhhhhh*BP*….excuse me…track record of disclosure.

      • That’s fair enough, and yeah, the Catskills is probably not a good place to do this, what with the NYC watershed and all. There are alternatives there which don’t really exist in the Southern Tier

        • actor212 says:

          There’s still the problem of groundwater, however. That fracked efflusion goes somewhere, and some of it has to go into town wells and water supplies.

          I’d hate for Erin Brockovich to have to be the one to find out what’s really in it.

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