This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
We understand the Republican nominee is being set down as ‘Crazy’ Carl by, among others, the same newspapers who, while saying they were for tax cuts and reform in Albany, endorsed Eliot Spitzer. It doesn’t take a double-blind study to see that Mr. Paladino is politically inexperienced and has his personal flaws. But it is also the case that he is the candidate who more clearly comprehends the catastrophe that has engulfed the state and more faithfully hews to the principles of political economy that will have to be at the center of any effort to turn it around.
* * *
A certain amount of ridicule greeted our endorsement of Carl Paladino for governor, which a little more than a year ago we did along the lines quoted above. We don’t mind saying that we’d rather have taken that ribbing than been made a chump yet again by a Democrat who promised not to raise taxes and then failed to have the grit to made good on his promise. That is what has just happened in respect of Governor Cuomo II, who announced earlier today a deal with the legislature for a tax increase on New Yorkers.
In the morning, there will be discussion of the particulars. Tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal has an editorial, “The Two Left Coasts,” that is memorable for the scorn it heaps not only on Mr. Cuomo but also on Governor Brown at California, another Democrat who is raising rates. What Mr. Cuomo is destroying the Journal characterizes as “the most desirable part of New York’s tax code, which is its relative flatness, with a top income tax rate that would have been 6.85% next year (after the previous surcharge expires).”
Reckons the Journal: “The new code will include a ‘progressive’ ladder: 6.45% for couples earning between $40,000 and $150,000, 6.65% from $150,000 to $300,000, 6.85% from $300,000 to $2 million, and 8.82% above $2 million ($1 million for individuals). Such a progressive code will make the state fisc even more dependent on millionaire incomes, which soar on capital gains and bonuses during good times but crash during recessions. This is the same progressive trap that has made California’s budget hostage to economic boom and bust.”
The Journal characterized the New York State Republican Party as “essentially worthless.” The paper was no doubt trying to be kind. Our own prediction and hope is that New York will place an ever greater premium on candidates who display an ability to hold a politically incorrect line and stand on the principles of political economy. Reagan had it. Coolidge had it. Cuomo, like Spitzer, failed to last a year. It’s hard to imagine there is something in the ground water or the flora that makes the politicians in Albany impervious to the principles that have stood our country so well in other states.