Have you ever wondered why Big Apple mayors rarely move up to other offices? We have seen why in the past few weeks.
Think about it. How many mayors of the City have become governor of the state? How many have gone onto Congress, as senators for instance? How many have become president of the country?
Diddly-squat. That is how many. And why is that? You might expect them to easily climb the political ladders of this state and country. After all, running a city the size of New York demands a lot of executive ability. And tons of political savvy.
The mayor is responsible for a $75 billion budget. And many thousands of employees. And thorny negotiations galore. Great preparations for higher office.
So why do most of them drop off the political cliff when they leave office? I think we see why with the crowning of the new mayor.
Mayor De Blasio has announced he wants to whack the city’s biggest earners with a half-a-billion in new taxes. I’m your new mayor, watch your pockets. At first he said the new tax grab was to find bucks to fund pre-k classes. (What better way to reward the teachers’ unions?) Then the governor said you don’t need to raise taxes. The state would pay for pre-k. Even so, the mayor still wants to raise taxes on the one percent. Just to show them who’s boss.
Governor Cuomo is trying to thwart the mayor. Give him credit. He realizes there is life outside the City. He senses the rest of the state may not be too crazy about whacking the rich with more taxes. After all, we are about the heaviest-taxed state. And we keep losing rich people. They flee to Florida and other no-tax or low-tax states. When they leave, the state loses the tax dollars they used to pay to Albany. The rest of us have to make up the difference.
I wrote about how the state legislature got too greedy. When it raised taxes on the likes of Rochester billionaire Tom Golisano. He fled to Florida. The state misses out on $16,000 per day he was paying in taxes. Take that, Golisano. We sure taught you a lesson for making a lot of money.
Back to the Big Apple. It has been losing rich guys. Now the mayor makes a big show of going after those who remain. The more he taxes them, the more will leave. Hmmm.
I don’t believe the people of Jamestown or Buffalo or Utica or Binghamton want to gouge their big earners. In that respect, they think differently than too many residents of New York City.
My point? The City is not like another state. It is like another country. So many of its residents don’t know Poughkeepsie from Watertown from Elmira. Upstate wilderness to them is Westchester. Their knowledge of the state is limited to where the subways and taxis run. They figure the U.S. has, maybe, ten other states. There’s Boston, Philly, D.C. and a few more.
A city politician run for state or national office? How about the Prime Minister of Botswana run. At least he probably knows where Syracuse is. (If you weren’t sure, Syracuse is located in the Carrier Dome.)
The jousting that is going on between the governor and the new mayor boils down to this. The governor is saying to the mayor “We have to consider the cities and towns and taxpayers and economies of the rest of the state.”
And the mayor is saying to the governor, “What do you mean state? You talkin’ about Jersey?”
Some pundits suggest there will be a showdown in Albany. I doubt it. De Blasio doesn’t know where it is.
From Tom...as in Morgan.