Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is an unmitigated disaster for his state when it comes to jobs, according to critics. Thanks to his heavy-handed lockdowns in the state due to the pandemic, they lost 1 million jobs in 2020 and Cuomo now wants $15 billion in federal aid. He is threatening litigation if President Biden does not give him the funds.
During the lockdowns, New York experienced a meltdown in tourism and business activity. Many businesses were forced to shut down and will never open again. Others are fleeing the state as Cuomo gets set to impose even more taxes in the wake of the virus. Ten percent of the state workforce has vanished.
The majority of the 578,000 jobs were lost from pre-pandemic December 2019 to December 2020. That’s one in eight or 12 percent of jobs in New York City. That’s the highest job loss rate in the state. New York state lost 37,200 jobs in December compared to November of last year.
The loss of jobs across the nation was 6 percent, half of what New York City’s was. Now, the economy has stalled there as a second surge of COVID-19 sweeps the state.
Employment in the food services, restaurant, and beverage industry plummeted by 43 percent year-to-year. They lost another 11,700 jobs in December as Cuomo reinstated a ban on indoor dining in the city to supposedly help contain the virus.
The tourism-heavy leisure hospitality sector, that includes hotels and arts and entertainment venues, lost 366,600 jobs statewide or 39 percent of the total. Many hotels and the Broadway theater district are closed.
“Restaurants and bars are essential to the social and economic fabric of New York City and the industry job loss is at a crisis level like we’ve never experienced,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. He is attributing the job losses last month “to more permanent restaurant closures, the state shutting down indoor dining for a second time, and fewer people eating outside in winter temperatures.”
Indoor dining is now prohibited at eateries in the city but allowed with social distancing restrictions in the surrounding counties and other parts of the state.
“If New York City is to pull itself out of this economic grave and gain jobs, we must safely bring back regulated indoor dining like it’s permitted in the rest of New York State, and the Biden Administration and Congress must enact the RESTAURANTS Act stimulus plan very soon,” Rigie stated.
Cuomo’s economic forecast released as part of his new budget plan this week said New York will likely not recover all the jobs it lost during the pandemic until 2025. And that may be overly optimistic, to say the least.
Suddenly, after Joe Biden’s inauguration as president, Cuomo wants to reopen the state: “We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass.” He follows in the footsteps of California’s Governor Gavin Newsom.
We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.#SOTS2021
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 11, 2021
During a speech detailing the state’s annual budget, Cuomo requested at least $15 billion in federal funding or the state will have to implement a number of unpleasant measures, including tax increases.
Cuomo said the state has proposed temporarily increasing the top rate by two percentage points to 10.86 percent, from 8.82 percent. A wealthy resident in New York City would pay a top rate of 14.7 percent in combined taxes. That is on top of city, county, and federal taxes.
That proposal would raise just $1.5 billion. Far less than what is needed. The state would also have to look at other measures such as cutting funding for things like education, Medicaid, local governments, and social services, as well as borrowing.
New York’s four-year budget outlook currently shows a $39 billion shortfall.
Cuomo has been against raising taxes during the pandemic, characterizing it among a roster of “third level of hell” options in the fall.
The governor acknowledged that many of the wealthier citizens have left Manhattan during the pandemic. A tax hike could mean some of these individuals will not return.
Other New York state lawmakers and officials are all for taxing the rich more as if it will somehow save them. If you tax them so much that they leave, then New York will get nothing from them.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he doesn’t base policies on “the wealthy few.” He has voiced support for increasing tax rates on the rich.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has also called on the state’s leadership to tax its richest residents more.
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