Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Mad as Hell Too, Carl!

New York is one of bluest of the blue states, as demonstrated by its ranking as the #1 Big Spender State. This election season, though, something unexpected is taking place in this Progressive Paradise: the usual party-backed, shoo-in candidates are getting nervous about achieving those formerly business-as-usual victories at the ballot box.

Here in rural New York State, increasingly visible next to roadside stands stacked with pumpkins are a new crop: bright orange lawn signs that proclaim "I'm mad too, Carl!Carl Paladino, a plain-talking political outsider from Buffalo with a checkered past that includes zero political experience and a fistful of dollars that he earned in his real estate business, is rapidly gaining an enthusiastic following in New York's gubernatorial race.

No wonder: Paladino, whose battle cry has been "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" is a real meat-and-potatoes guy when it comes to drafting a plan for New York State. You won't find any limp arugula in his list of reforms.

First, Paladino is promising some serious budget cuts to make room for some serious tax cuts.

On the spending side, he vows to cut government spending by 10% in his first six months in office and by 20% in his first year. Because New York State spends more on Medicaid than any other state in the union--shockingly, double what California spends--Paladino plans to knock $20 billion off that bill--which would greatly reduce local county taxes in the state (by as much, perhaps, as 40%). He also promises to cut property taxes and state income taxes for the manufacturers who have not yet fled the state's tax structure.

On top of those cuts, Paladino plans to slash New York state's gasoline tax of 31.9 cents per gallon.

Paladino, who has never before run for office and says that he will never run again, has got a few changes in mind for state legislators, including 8-year term limits. In New York, state legislators work only part time, so Paladino promises to eliminate their pensions and their discounted lifetime health care coverage--or make them work full time for full benefits. Another change Paladino wants to see is full disclosure by state legislators of the amount and sources of their non-legislative income to deter "conflicts of interest."

Paladino is opposed to ObamaCare, to abortion, and to the building of the Ground Zero mosque, and he sees legal means whereby New York will not be required to participate in all three.

In New York State, a plan like that is a target for a barrage of negative press.

Nevertheless, I have not seen one yard sign supporting Paladino's opponent, Andrew Cuomo, a career politician from Queens, the eldest son of one of New York's former governors, and New York's current attorney general. To be fair, I should mention that orange election signs are not the vogue in Cuomo's native Queens -- yet.

To help voters of this state make the crucial decision, what we really need between now and November 2 are a couple of good old-fashioned televised political debates featuring the two men who want to be top dog in New York State.

1 comment:

  1. Paladino seems like a top notch guy. The two candidates should debate. I guess Cuomo is too much of a scaredy cat to do so. I really hope that Paladino wins cause he sure does have common sense.