Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Party that Pretends to Care

I continue to be amazed by Andy Cuomo's genuflections to his corporate overlords. Cuomo has announced that, in the spirit of being austere, he's freezing salaries of state employees for a year. This will save 2-400 million. However, days before, he eliminated a tax on the richest New Yorkers that could have saved a billion.

Cuomo also announced he was taking himself a 5% pay cut. When I get to live rent-free in a Governor's mansion, with chauffeurs and staff, I'll take a 5% pay cut too. I'm guessing Andy, particularly after giving himself that tax break, was doing pretty well to begin with. That's not leading by example. It's making a hollow gesture and saying, "What a good boy am I." When Spitzer was living there, for all I know we financed his prostitutes. 

Cuomo's priorities, like those of President Barack Obama, are pretty clear. In Cuomo's favor, he didn't actually campaign on the premise he'd cut tax breaks for the rich. That was President Obama, who also promised to pass an act that would allow card check to unionize workers. Obama backed out, preferring to work with the Republicans on health care, a strategy that garnered him zero votes and a seriously scaled down bill. Of course, the Republicans are now trying to dismantle what little he accomplished.

At this point it's hard for me to discern what the point of the Democratic Party is. The Republicans are pretty much right out there, saying we need tax cuts for gazillionaires, and that they're imposing financial discipline, except regarding gazillionaire tax cuts. Apparently they're needed no matter where the economy goes. The Democrats are different. In Barack Obama's case, he at least maintains not to have wanted the gazillionaire tax cut. Andy Cuomo makes no such pretense.

Fire 900 working people, freeze the wages of state workers, and give the richest people in the state a break that costs more than all the savings realized by screwing all those working people. This makes perfect sense to the new Governor of New York State.
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