Thingish Things

Running from the Bear

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Feb• 07•12

Fifty-two percent of New Yorkers told Siena pollsters this week that New York State is on the right track. Based on where we were  14 months ago, I’d say they are right. New York is moving in a far better direction than it was under Governor David Paterson and an inept Democratic-controlled state senate in December 2010.

But if voters were asked to compare New York’s direction with that of other states, I suspect we would be seeing far different numbers. In today’s Wall Street Journal we read about a strategic tax rebellion taking places in American “heartland” states tired of watching jobs move out of state or overseas. These states are working to eliminate state income taxes and/0r property taxes and/or  corporate taxes.  In short, they are seeking to compete for business with low-tax states like Texas as a way to grow business. Even Maine and New Jersey, hardly bastions of conservative economic thinking, are getting in on the game, seeking to lower income taxes to attract and retain businesses and jobs. 

In New York, the debate, as usual, is going in the other direction:  We just passed a “millionaire’s” income tax hike, and discussion continues on so called “living wage” legislation and raises in the minimum wage.  Both would chase more businesses from New York. And our public employee unions are threatening to go to war over the modest pension reform proposals. Visit to make sure that you are covered under your state and federal compliance laws.

There’s the old quip, “How fast do you have to run to get away from a bear?”  Answer: “A little faster than the guy next to you.” It applies to economics, too, and New York is more than a step behind.   

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