Waiting for a Bailout: Stupid Governor Tricks, New York Edition
No, America hasn't shown it wants to bail out New York
This may be something that requires multiple days to cover, and, so far, the main stupid governor in this category is my own: Gov. Cuomo.
Let me start with this idiocy:
Help Us! Also, You Have to Deal With Our Taxes!
Health care workers that came to New York to help fight the coronavirus pandemic at its epicenter will have to pay state taxes, according to the governor.
He addressed the issues Tuesday at a news conference.
“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “So there’s a lot of good things I’d like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I’m gonna spend more money, when I can’t even pay the essential services.”
Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Beg people from other states to come help you… and then hit them with the sky-high New York taxes.
I hope for New York’s sake there isn’t a second wave. Because this is a trick you can play only once.
Even though the state government asked thousands of people to come to New York from out of state to help fight coronavirus, they will have to pay New York state taxes, even on income they might make from their home states that they’re paid while in New York.
Cuomo said he needs help from Washington in order to cover budget deficits from COVID-19, let alone subsidize state income tax for essential workers that flocked to New York’s aid.
“If we don’t get more money from Washington, we can’t fund schools, right, so at the rate we want to fund them. We are in dire financial need,” he said.
This is not the winning argument you think it is, Cuomo.
Taking it out of the hide of healthcare workers who are endangering their own lives in caring for COVID-19 patients is not going to win any friends.
Yes, I know this is standard NY state taxation practice, but the NY legislature could take care of it. And no, this is not much leverage against congress members from other states.
Wall of Masks Means America Loves New York… and Will Pay for It?
I’ll let Elizabeth Bauer explain the stupidity of this one.
Third, an item originally shared on twitter as a photograph, which I then had to find the reporting for, via WIVB in New York:
According to the account at WWNY, Cuomo’s purpose was not merely to warm the cockles of our hearts. It was to make a political statement in support of more federal money for states harder hit by the pandemic:
What an idiot, what a *!@, to take the result of someone else’s hard work, intended to meet needs of New Yorkers, whether healthcare workers or ordinary people going about their days, and turn them into a display instead, and, what’s worse, to try to score political points with it.
So, a little bit of an aside here. In one of the pictures I saw, what Cuomo did may not have been as bad as you think. Link to the Flickr page for the photo, because you can really do a close-up and see what I’m talking about.
I want to point out the three (or four) circular masks you can see. They’re crochet [looks like the hot pads I used to crochet]…. and do I have to tell you that crochet is particularly ill-suited for these masks?
When I did a close up on other masks, I saw… shoddy construction and other problems. I have a feeling that all the masks being used for the wall were basically unusable by anybody. But the governor could not have been so crass as to point that out.
But he and his aides did not think through how this alternative looked: like a stupid stunt.
No, I don’t have a better idea of what to do with a bunch of unusable masks people have sent as a photo-op. My thought: maybe have your interns do handwritten thank you notes to the people.
I will link to the piece that Elizabeth Bauer linked to: Cuomo to Washington politicians: ‘follow the American people’
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a message for Washington politicians: “Try to be half as good as the American people.”
At his coronavirus briefing Wednesday, the governor lashed out at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Florida Sen. Rick Scott – both Republicans – who have said they don’t want to bail out the predominately Democratic states that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus.
You can watch the full briefing in the video.
To illustrate his point, Cuomo unveiled a display of thousands of face masks sent to New York from across the country, which he called “a self-portrait that was done by American people.”
“This is just people’s way of saying ‘we care and we want to help.’”
He advised politicians to “follow the American people, look at what they’re doing, look at how they’re reacting.”
Yeah, this is not the route I would go, by highlighting poorly-made masks.
Also, that someone would take their own time to make a mask is not the same as indicating they are willing to pay thousands in taxes to bail out profligate states.
Likewise, just because some people are willing to leave their states to help the New York COVID-19 patients does not mean they are all that willing to pay New York income taxes.
There is a case to be made for a partial bailout for reduced state revenues, but this is a ham-handed way of going about it. Do better, Cuomo.