Governor Andrew Cuomo visited my hometown of Rochester, NY today to talk about state initiatives for western and upstate New York. Local reporter Rachael Barnhart wrote a short piece about the visit and a couple of things struck me as interesting.
First, when presented with the fact that there are 40,000 fewer jobs in Rochester than during the 90's the governor got petulant. He called her a cynic and said that we should look at the glass as half full. I found his tone interesting. It was as though he expected to be thanked and loved for bringing money to Rochester. More on that in a second.
Second was a quote that she included in the piece (not in the video): "Rochester can't help Rochester. It takes the state government to help Rochester."
So let me get this straight:
1. The citizens of Rochester pay taxes to the state of New York.
2. The state of New York distributes those taxes as it sees fit, including grants back to the city of Rochester.
3. The governor expects the citizens of Rochester to be grateful for what they get from the state of New York.
Seems to me that it would just be easier to, oh I don't know, NOT have the money funnel through Albany. Why not just lower taxes by the amount of the grants and call it even?
Of course I know the answer. As the Instapundit likes to say, insufficient opportunities for graft. But I think it's instructive and a useful lesson to citizens. How much does the money we get from the state cost? More thoughts on this topic later.