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Monday, April 20, 2015

Taking Credit For Nothing

The trend towards dishonesty in government continues.  This time the perpetrator is Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat who is governor of New York.  The subject is a program called Start Up New York.

Anyone who lives near New York City and who watched television during most of 2014 has heard about Start Up New York.  It is a program which, according to the TV commercials, waives state taxes on new business start ups in the state for ten years.  Each ad that ran lauded the program and featured Coumo as the creator of the plan.  The message was simple:  Cuomo was bringing jobs to the Empire State. 

There were problems with Start Up New York, however.  First, despite what the ads said (or left out), most new businesses could not qualify for the program.  Only tech companies that located in certain places could get the benefits.  Second, essentially no one took advantage of the program.  In 2014, the figures show that the program created 76 jobs in the state.  To be fair, we don't know if all of those 76 jobs came to the state due to the program; it may be that businesses that would have been in New York anyway took advantage of the tax holiday that was offered.  Third, the cost of the program (which was almost exclusively for advertising) came to over fifty million dollars.  In other words, the state spent over $700,000 per job to get these paltry results.

The worst thing about the program, however, is that the ads came almost to a halt right after the election last November when Cuomo was re-elected.  Basically, Cuomo spent over fifty million dollars of public funds to run ads to help his campaign while achieving next to nothing for the people of New York.  This may not rise to the level of Hillary Clinton looking the other way while Ukrainian Victor Pinchuk allegedly gave tens of millions of dollars to her foundation in exchange for Hillary overlooking that Pinchuk's company was violating the sanctions against Iran that she was supposed to enforce as secretary of state.  Nevertheless, Cuomo's us of public funds for his own personal use gets pretty close.

Remember that the federal government is already investigating Cuomo for his actions in shutting down the state anti-corruption commission when it allegedly was getting too close to uncovering real corruption in state government.  Maybe they could expand the probe to cover these commercials as well.


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