Andrew Cuomo begins the public search for a graceful way out of a tax pledge
"Read Andrew's Lips" has been a constant feature of the New York Post editorial page for weeks now, a reminder (and implicit warning) to the governor, and everyone else, that he has committed to kill a high-earner tax.
Cuomo's acknowledgment today that he's considering an overhaul of the tax code which could include tax increases on the rich will not go unnoticed by the Post or anyone else, is the point.
I spoke to a few Democrats who hope Cuomo's remarks today mean that he is looking for a way around the fact that he is now standing by a promise that was popular when he first made it, and is now less so. In the lede of their story on the governor's delicate repositioning, the News used an even more unambiguous lede, stating flatly, "Gov. Cuomo may be getting ready to go back on his no new taxes pledge."
WNYC's Colby Hamilton earlier laid out what it might take for Cuomo to reverse himself. Today, Hamilton notes that Cuomo is portraying himself as someone trying to make sure Albany avoids the kind of partisan gridlock that's frozen Washington.
Clearly, Cuomo will have to find a way to make the tax code more progressive that is more subtle (or incomprehesibly complicated) than raising taxes on rich New Yorkers. Look for lots of new brackets and tiers and other things that end up producing something that administration can present as a tax break for the middle class without costing the state revenue. Just don't call it a millionaire's tax.
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One of the co-executive directors of Make the Road NY is leaving in April to lead a new national organization called The Center for Popular Democracy. [Roberto Perez]
John Faso is headlining a fund-raiser for Republican congressional candidate Randy Altschuler in NY-01. [Celeste Katz]
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State officials are extending the public comment period on franking until January 11. [Colby Hamilton]
"Gov. Cuomo may be getting ready to go back on his no new taxes pledge." [Ken Lovett]
Cuomo refused to rule out higher taxes for the rich, but he also spoke at length about needing to avoid the kind of "gridlock" that's stymied action in Washington. [Colby Hamilton]
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Bloomberg still has nice things to say about City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, despite her filing a lawsuit against his administration. [Associated Press]
Howard Wolfson "is a bureaucrat." [David Freedlander]
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