Big Government Is Dead — Even in New York

Thursday, 20 Jan 2011 09:51 AM

By Wayne Allyn Root

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It's amazing to me that there are still a few people in America pushing the dinosaur called “the progressive agenda.” How can anyone demand bigger government, more services, higher spending, and higher taxes in the middle of a financial Armageddon?

That’s not a progressive agenda. It’s a bankruptcy agenda. These people aren’t liberals; they are fossils. It's a far different world out there — perhaps they haven't noticed. But the proof is found in my old home state of New York, and my new adopted home state of Nevada.

There is a dramatic and truly amazing lesson developing right now in New York. The newly elected governor of New York is Democrat Andrew Cuomo. He is the son of one of the heroes of big government "tax and spend" liberalism — former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Yet this new and improved Cuomo refuses to raise taxes one cent. He is demanding a "radical shift" in the way New York is run (headline quoted from the liberal New York Times). That radical shift is built around the idea of dramatic cuts in services, smaller government, far fewer government employees and agencies, and reigning in public employee unions.

As a lifelong fiscal conservative, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Cuomo promises to reduce the entire $10 billion deficit with $10 billion in spending cuts. He is pro-business and refuses to use "class warfare" to incite jealousy and hatred. Amen.

Most remarkable of all, even with a $10 billion budget deficit, this new generation of Cuomo is actually allowing a "wealth tax" (a higher tax on wealthy New Yorkers) to expire. Ending this wealth tax will cost the state of New York an extra billion dollars.

This Cuomo says that if New York doesn't stop raising taxes on the rich and business, there will be no businesses or rich left to tax. Who does this guy think he is — me?

In short, the "progressive" agenda is dying before our very eyes. Even New York Democrats have had enough of high taxes necessary to pay toll takers $100,000 per year in retirement. Even New Yorkers have had it with sanitation workers who make $90,000 per year, but can't manage to clear the streets in a blizzard. Even New Yorkers are in shock over the bankruptcy of OTB (Off Track Betting).

Government is so pathetic in New York, they’ve managed to pull off the impossible — run the gambling business into bankruptcy! How did this happen? There were far too many OTB employees (all cronies of government bureaucrats and politicians), collecting bloated salaries and obscene pensions at the expense of taxpayers.

The goose that laid the golden egg was finally killed by the greed and incompetence of big government. I figured this all out 20 years ago and escaped from New York.

Let New York serve as proof that the entire country will soon be moving toward the model of my adopted home state of Nevada. What is the Nevada model? It’s simple. It’s the model of the United States Constitution — government should do as little as possible, leave the rest to the people and the private sector, and then get the heck out of the way.

Nevada’s model is smaller government, lower spending, reduced services, fewer government employees, and lower taxes. Does it work? Ask the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada is once again the fastest-growing state in America — for the fifth straight decade. It's no coincidence or luck when you're No. 1 for 50 years in a row.

Does Nevada have financial problems despite that philosophy of smaller government? You bet. Like the other 49 states, Nevada spent irresponsibly for the past decade. We spent money we didn't have. That's not a tax problem. That's a spending addiction. It's time for our states to enter rehab.

Brian Sandoval, the newly elected governor of Nevada, is a fiscal conservative who promises to close the budget gap without raising one cent in taxes. Like New York Gov. Cuomo, he’s even promising to allow about a billion dollars of temporary tax increases enacted a few years ago to expire. That’s called courage.

If our governor holds true to his promise, I predict Nevada will be No. 1 out of 50 states for many more decades to come.

Cities, counties, and states across America are facing financial disaster and bankruptcy due to unsustainable spending and debt. Higher taxes aren't the answer; it is America’s highest tax states that are facing the worst ruin.

The lesson is clear — higher taxes lead to even higher spending, deficit, and debt.

Higher taxes are used to hire more government employees, at higher salaries, with bigger pensions. This progressive agenda leads to economic ruin all over the world.

Ask New York. Ask California. Or ask the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain). They all suffer from the same maladies — big government, bloated spending, big pensions, unsustainable deficits, powerful unions, and too many government employees trying to leech off too few taxpayers. It’s a dying model.

Perhaps liberals, progressives, and all Obama followers need to watch the news once in a while. If they did, they’d see the greatest example of all. Even communist Cuba is cutting 500,000 government employees, promising to cut another 500,000 soon, and asking its citizens to stop expecting so much from government.

Thankfully, the progressive model of big government is dead.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former libertarian vice presidential nominee and now serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts." His website is ROOTforAmerica.com.



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