Cato Institute fiscal report card: Cuomo, D


The Cato Insitute, a conservative think tank, released a report today grading most U.S. governors for their fiscal policy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s grade? D.

The report card, which graded on a scale of A through F, gave only four governors the highest grade, all of them Republicans: Sam Brownback of Kansas; Rick Scott of Florida; Paul LePage of Maine; and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania.

Seventeen governors were awarded Bs, 11 were given Cs, and 11 got Ds, including Cuomo. Five governors — all of whom are Democrats — received failing grades: the leaders of Washington, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut and Illinois.

“Many states are facing major fiscal problems in coming years,” according to the organization’s website. “Rising debt and growing health and pension costs threaten tax increases down the road. At the same time, intense global economic competition makes it imperative that states improve their investment climates.

“To that end, some governors are pursuing broad-based tax reforms, such as cutting income tax rates and reducing property taxes on businesses,” the website said. “The bad news is that many governors are expanding narrow ‘tax incentives,’ which clutter the tax code in an attempt to micromanage the economy.”

The report card evaluates governors on their spending and tax-related actions since 2010. It is the organization’s 11th biennial fiscal policy report card.

The governors receiving an A are those who cut taxes and spending the most, while the governors receiving an F raised taxes and spending the most, according to the report.

In a discussion of Cuomo’s grade, the report said that Cuomo “has not lived up to” a “pledge” he made in his January 2011 State of the State address, when he said New York must “hold the line on taxes now and reduce taxes in the future.”

See below for the full discussion of Cuomo’s grade and the report itself:

New York
Andrew Cuomo, Democrat
Legislature: Divided
Grade: D
Took Office: January 2011

In his January 2011 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo said that New York must “hold the line on taxes now and reduce taxes in the future.” Unfortunately, the governor has not lived up to that pledge.

In December 2011, Cuomo signed an increase in the top personal income tax rate, which is expected to raise $1.9 billion annually. A previous “temporary” hike in the top rate from 6.85 percent to rates of 7.85 percent and 8.97 percent was supposed to expire at the end of 2011. But Cuomo’s legislation will “temporarily” create a new top rate of 8.82 percent through the end of 2014. Cuomo’s tax plan included some tax breaks, but the overall net tax increase was more than $1.5 billion a year. These tax hikes won’t help the New York economy, which already suffers from having the second worst business tax climate in the nation.

There were no new taxes in the governor’s budget this year, and his spending increases have been about average among the governors. Also to his credit, Cuomo approved pension reforms for public sector workers, which could save state and local governments in New York tens of billions of dollars over coming years.

In New York City alone, the annual cost of pensions for city workers has exploded from $1.3 billion to $8 billion in just the past decade. So Cuomo’s reforms were desperately needed, but much more needs to be done to reduce government spending in New York.

Here’s the report: Fiscal Report Card on America’s Governors: 2012, Cato White Paper No. 35


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1 Comment

  1. Are there any “real political candidates” who can take the control seat in this dysfunctional New York State Government in Albany?

    I would give Andrew Cuomo an F, as Governor of New York, the infrastructure and roads are crumbling, he spends more time in the Hamptons than in Albany, and he is out of control in his wasteful spending, meanwhile, 23 million Americans are unemployed and have less than the illegal immigrants who live in New York on Welfare!

    Andrew Cuomo is the illuminati’s worse nightmare, and so is Barack Obama, these two politicians are in agreement with each other, hey New Yorkers and red neck America let’s keep the poor, “Poor”, and put the rest of the money in our nonprofits politician pockets, and we’ll continue crushing the economy more and more everyday, until the taxpayers are completely homeless and jobless, that’s what these Democrats have achieved in the last 4 years for the people in New York State and the struggling American people. These two men are lobbyist, they both became extremely rich in a short time.

    America is jobless, homeless, bare ass, bare foot, and pregnant. The only change these politicians gave us in the last four years, is all nickels and dimes, they are nickel and dimming us, American people, we have nothing left.

    I give Andrew Cuomo an F for failure. I give Barack Obama an F for Failure.

    Here is a true saying, bulls-t will get you to the top but it’s not gonna keep you there.

    I’m gonna predict that these two politicians are out, they’re out! I know the illuminati sign is three fingers, but, the America people are only holding up one finger to this United States Government!

    Also would like to add:

    This is the problem with the New York Media, the politicians own them. How can the citizens trust the news media to inform them about the truth inside political and public corruption issues. There is no trust in a government, when politicians like Andrew Cuomo are buying a news media’s confidence with offering high salaries and making news reporters like, News 12 Westchester Anchor Brian ConyBeare, and NBC Spokeswomen Allison Gollust, high salaries with the taxpayer dollars. The important question is this, what’s the point to hire these high paid news reporters into his administration? There is a method of madness in this type of unethical practice in government.

    The Westchester County District Attorney Janet Difiore, hired another News 12 Westchester reporter Tracy Everson, Deputy Communications Director, Westchester District Attorney’s Office, paying her a high salary on the backs of the taxpayers.

    Westchester County residents pay the highest taxes in the United States, and if politicians cannot speak to the press openly and honestly about the issues, than, they should not be in public office. They should stop wasting the taxpayers hard earned cash on covering up the truth, it’s time these greedy politicians face the public and answer the questions for themselves.

    The question is this, are these job titles and high salaries necessary in New York, when the infrastructure and roads are crumbling and 23 million people are living on unemployment? This is wasteful spending of tax dollars.

    ~ The Westchester News