New York Ready to Take Another Toll on Business?

December 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm (Business, Governor Cuomo, New York, Steve McLaughlin, Thruway Authority, Toll Hike, Truckers)

Not merely content with holding this year’s position as the least business-friendly state in the nation, or ranking dead last for business tax climate, or even being named to the Top 10 list of states that Forbes considers to be in an economic “death spiral“, New York is showing once again that they remain unwilling to rest on their laurels, finding new ways to drive businesses away from the Empire State in droves.

The latest tactic?  A proposal by the Thruway Authority to enact a massive 45% toll hike on trucks – a concept that would cripple the trucking industry, pass costs on to consumers, and increase safety hazards while tangentially creating untold problems for the state’s highway infrastructure.

All the while referring to the plan straight-faced as a “modest” increase.

State Assemblyman, and vocal opponent of the plan, Steve McLaughlin, tells FreedomWorks that referring to the toll hike as “modest” is simply dishonest.

“It is anything but,” he opines.  “It’s a massive toll increase that follows on the heels of repeated toll hikes over the past years.”

McLaughlin, explains that the plan isn’t simply an economic burden on truckers and businesses alone either.
“It is nothing more nor less than a massive tax hike on the people of NY,” he said.

It was a little over a year ago that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a new marketing initiative called, “New York Open For Business“, which according to a press release, had the following aim:

The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location.

While the state itself may be open for business, the Thruway Authority is apparently trying to make conducting business as difficult as possible.

Via the Buffalo News:

The New York State Motor Truck Association insists that a 45 percent toll hike would cripple some firms and most assuredly result in trucking companies and their clients passing along the cost of the toll increase to consumers. Or some truckers could decide not to take the Thruway, cutting into the anticipated revenue stream.

McLaughlin also notes that a business decision to avoid the Thruway would create less-noticeable issues for the state.

“This action will lead to greatly increased wear and tear on roads that were not designed to handle big rigs, which in turn will result in increased cost’s to localities and the state to maintain those roads,” he says.
“Additionally, there is most definitely a safety issue involved if greater numbers of big rigs are using surface roads and a much greater risk of serious accidents.”

McLaughlin summarizes the impact, stating that the 45% toll increase on trucks “would be a disaster across the board”.

On this, there seems to be some bipartisan pushback against the Authority. Most notably, a former supporter of the plan in Governor Cuomo, is now referring to the possibility of a toll hike as “detrimental”, and urging officials to “get creative” in their efforts and avoid raising tolls on the 570-mile highway.

While some would see such a shift by the influential governor as damning to the Thruway Authority’s plan, McLaughlin says the fight is far from over.

“I believe they still intend to increase tolls and the fight now is over how much they will increase,” he says.  “Given the chance and given their past behavior, I firmly believe the Thruway Authority will hold a meeting and slam an increase through.”

Can a state ranking dead last in business-friendliness currently afford a toll increase that would devastate businesses and consumers alike?  Certainly not. And certainly not now in this economic client.

McLaughlin is urging Mental Recession readers to take action in the fight against a New York State Thruway toll increase.

“Please continue to spread the word about this issue and keep this in the spotlight,” he asks.  “Public pressure is vital.”

Now, more than ever.

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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Tax Report: New York Ranks Dead Last For Business

October 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm (Andrew Cuomo, Business, Business-Friendly, Economy, Governor Cuomo, New York, NY Works, Open For Business, Tax, Tom DiNapoli)

While the Cuomo administration has experienced what some would call an historic term in office, one aspect contributing to that description has been the Governor’s insistence that New York is open for business, promoting a new business-friendly atmosphere in the Empire state.

Just a few months ago, the governor had this to say about conducting business in New York:

“The focus of the administration has always been and will continue to be making New York work to help create jobs and grow businesses in every region of the state.  In the spirit of entrepreneurial government and through our New York Works initiatives, we have positioned the state as a partner to the private sector to encourage billions of dollars of new investment in nanotechnology and other growth industries.”

It was less than a year ago that Cuomo launched a new marketing initiative called, “New York Open For Business”, which according to a press release, had the following aim:

In recent years, businesses have left the state in record numbers and job losses have devastated local communities, giving New York the image of having one of the worst business climates in the nation. The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location.

Sad news to report today however, indicating that it doesn’t matter if you open your doors to business, if nobody wants to go inside and buy anything.

Via Capitol Confidential:

This is interesting in light of today’s scheduled events, which include an update on Wall Street’s contribution to the state economy by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and a NY Works meeting which is part of a Cuomo initiative to rebuild the state’s economy.

The Tax Foundation which, granted, looks askance at taxes, ranks New York dead last in terms of the business tax climate. They cite not just the income taxes but the state’s property taxes, unemployment taxes (overly complex and saddled with surcharges, they say) and overall complexity.

Here’s what they said:

Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York scores at the bottom this year by having the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes. The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.

Read the full report here.

Here is how the rest of the United States stacks up.

This of course, comes on the heels of a summertime report in which the Empire state was ranked dead last in business friendliness, and saw rankings drop in several other categories such as Quality of Life, Economy, Access to Capital, Cost of Living, and Infrastructure & Transportation.

As it stands now, doing business in New York under the Cuomo administration is an historically bad idea.

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Biden Admits "Yes We Do" Want to Raise Taxes by a Trillion Dollars

October 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm (2012 Election, Business, Economy, Jobs, Joe Biden, Tax Hike, Taxes, Trillion Dollar)

Anybody else looking forward to the vice-presidential debates as much as I am?

Biden is simply the gift that keeps on giving…

I’m sure businesses will be chomping at the bit to start hiring knowing that a trillion dollar tax hike is in the works.

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Small Business Owners Fight Back With "I Built This" Video

July 22, 2012 at 9:00 am (2012 Election, Big Government, Bristol Palin, Business, Economy, Jobs, President Obama, Small Business, Socialism, Somebody Else Made That Happen, You Didn't Build That)

President Obama recently let us all peak into his economic world view recently when he proclaimed that, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”.

He added, “Somebody else made that happen”.

The somebody was big government, for without government in your lives, nothing is possible.

Now, small business owners are having their say.

Bristol Palin made a request for small business owners to share their business photos in an attempt to explain to our President “how our economy works”.

From Bristol’s Blog on Patheos:

Small business owners all over America took offense at this incorrect view that government (instead of elbow grease, intelligence, and good-old-fashioned risk taking) is the bedrock of our economy.

Since the President doesn’t understand how our economy works, let’s take a moment to explain how small businesses are created…  More importantly, let’s show him the businesses we’ve made and who has made them. 

Gateway Pundit writes: 

President Obama’s attack on small business owners revealed a petulant and resentful socialist, who values the collective over the individual and sees the productive class as vampires feeding on the weak and the downtrodden. As Michael Walsh said, “It was a ‘Kinsley gaffe’ for Barack Obama when he inadvertently blurted out the truth.”

Now small business owners across America are standing up, speaking out and fighting back.

Here is their response to Barack Obama…

“I Built This” – the video.

The video is very well done.  Watch for yourself…

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President Obama: Success Isn’t Because You’re "So Smart" or Because You "Worked Hard"

July 15, 2012 at 11:00 am (Big Government, Business, Economics, Elizabeth Warren, Poor, President Obama, Rich, Success, Wealthy)

The President this weekend confirmed his view that the biggest factor contributing to wealth and success in this country is not hard work or entrepreneurial spirit – it’s the federal government.

At his speech in Roanoke, Virginia, Obama gave his vision of the formula which leads to business success in America.  Not hard work.  Not intelligence.  No, it’s because the government was there to help you every step of the way (video below).

“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Read that last line again…  If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.

Shocking, but hardly new rhetoric.

Earlier in the year, Obama echoed the same sentiments in a speech in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

President Obama tells a college audience that people don’t get rich on their own. Obama’s point that without government and paying your fair share, ultimately the successful wouldn’t be able to get where they are.

“We do not begrudge wealth in this country. I want everybody here to do well. We aspire to financial success, but we also understand that we’re not successful just by ourselves,” President Obama said at a campaign event in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday morning.

“We’re successful because somebody started the University of Michigan. We’re successful because somebody made an investment in all the federal research labs that created the internet. We’re successful because we have an outstanding military that costs money. We’re successful because somebody built roads and bridges. And laid broadband lines and these things didn’t just happen on their own. And if we all understand that we’ve got to pay for this stuff, it makes sense for those of us who’ve done best to do our fair share and to try to pass off that bill on to somebody else, that’s not right. That’s not who we are,” he said.

Hard work to achieve success is a foreign concept to this man, which is why he is openly encouraging people to abandon job searches for the glamorous lifestyle that is food stamps.  But where did he get this attitude from?

Perhaps from his former financial adviser, Fauxcahontas … er … Sitting Bulls*** … er … Elizabeth Warren.

Remember this statement?

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.

Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren, who is now seeking to challenge Republican Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is definitely not shy in voicing her views on class warfare — or, according to Warren, the lack thereof.

… Warren, who is perhaps best known for helping to launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stated boldly that there is no such thing as class warfare and that there is “nobody in this country who got rich on his own.”

Big government birds of a feather…

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Despite Cuomo’s Claims, New York Ranks As Least Business-Friendly State in the Nation

July 12, 2012 at 7:00 am (Andrew Cuomo, Business, Business-Friendly, Cost of Living, David Paterson, Democrat, Economy, Education, Governor Cuomo, Jobs, New York, Open For Business, Republican, Unemployment)

While the Cuomo administration has experienced what some would call an historic term in office, one aspect contributing to that description has been the Governor’s insistence that New York is open for business, promoting a new business-friendly atmosphere in the Empire state.

Just a few weeks ago, the governor had this to say about conducting business in New York:

“The focus of the administration has always been and will continue to be making New York work to help create jobs and grow businesses in every region of the state.  In the spirit of entrepreneurial government and through our New York Works initiatives, we have positioned the state as a partner to the private sector to encourage billions of dollars of new investment in nanotechnology and other growth industries.”

It was less than a year ago that Cuomo launched a new marketing initiative called, “New York Open For Business”, which according to a press release, had the following aim:

In recent years, businesses have left the state in record numbers and job losses have devastated local communities, giving New York the image of having one of the worst business climates in the nation. The goal of the “New York Open for Business” initiative is to promote the many assets of investing in New York so the state can regain its reputation as a business-friendly location.

Those efforts to regain the state’s reputation as being business-friendly were to involve spending anywhere between $10 and $50 million.

According to a new report from CNBC however, the state has plummeted eight spots overall in a list of America’s Top States For Business 2012.  The list ranks all 50 states in categories they use to sell themselves to businesses.  New York dropped from the previous year’s rankings in 6 of the 10 categories … including business-friendliness.

New York’s rank in that coveted category?  Dead last.

Overall, the Empire state dropped from 26th to the 34th top slot for business.  In the individual categories, New York saw a decline in Quality of Life, Economy, Business-Friendliness, Access to Capital, Cost of Living, and Infrastructure & Transportation.  The latter category seeing the most dramatic loss, going from 14th in the nation to 39th.

The chart comparing 2012 and 2011 results can be seen below…

The numbers are strikingly similar to David Paterson’s term in office in 2009, before he improved them in the 2010 election year.
According to CNBC’s report, the business-friendly numbers have declined in each year since Cuomo’s election in 2010.
The news wasn’t all bad however, as New York ranked first in the nation for Education, and Technology & Innovation.

Curiously, when looking at the overall list, states with Republican governors dominated as having reputations that are considered business-friendly.  According to Human Events:

You’ll also notice similarities between states that rank high on the CNBC list — namely that most of the leadership in those states supports economic policies that mirror the national Republican platform.

Here are the top 20 most-friendly business states according to CNBC:

  1. Texas
  2. Utah
  3. Virginia
  4. North Carolina
  5. North Dakota
  6. Nebraska
  7. South Dakota
  8. Colorado
  9. Georgia
  10. Wyoming
  11. Minnesota
  12. Iowa
  13. Idaho
  14. Indiana
  15. Kansas
  16. Tennessee
  17. Wisconsin
  18. Oregon
  19. New Hampshire
  20. Arkansas

Seven out of the 10 states featured in the top 10 have both Republican governors and legislatures.  By contrast, within the bottom dwellers, six of 10 have Democrat monopolies on state government.

This, after another report showed that every single one of the 17 states that elected a Republican governor in 2010, saw a drop in their unemployment rates.

By contrast, during that same time frame the unemployment rate in New York has climbed.

Looks like Governor Cuomo has some more work to do to reach those sought after historic levels.

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GDP Plummets Below First Quarter Expectations

April 27, 2012 at 11:00 am (Automobile, Business, Economy, GDP, Jobs, President Obama, Spending)

Good thing we had that Summer of Recovery a couple of years ago.  Otherwise, who knows where we’d be now?

CNBC:

U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate,the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderatingfrom the fourth quarter’s3 percent rate.

While that was below economists’ expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, a surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report.However, growth was still stronger than analysts’ predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below1.5percent.

Although the details were mixed, the GDP report offered a somewhat better picture of growth compared with the fourth quarter, when inventory building accounted for nearly two thirds of the economy’s growth. In the first quarter, demand from consumers took up the slack.

So, consumer spending seems to be the silver lining here.  But wait…

with the labor market showing early signs of fatigue after employment growth averaged 246,000 per month between December and February, consumer spending could soften in the second quarter.

Some gauges of regional factory activity eased as the second quarter started, and consumer confidence ebbed. In addition, first-time applications for unemployment benefits have spiked in recent weeks, although many economists pin the rise on seasonal quirks.

Additionally, the uptick in consumer spending is being attributed to automobile sales due to ‘a spurt of job growth’.

But how long can that last considering businesses, according to this report, are tightening their belts again?

… business spending fell for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, with investment in equipment and software risingat its slowestpace since the recession ended.

Business spending fell at a 2.1 percent pace after rising 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Are you prepared to double down on the Obama economy?  Four more years of holding your breath every time an economic report is released?  Four more years of hearing the phrase ‘lower than expected’?

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Marion Barry Wins Democratic Primary, Vows to Address Dirty Asians

April 5, 2012 at 11:00 am (Asian, Business, Crack, Democrat, Dirty, Marion Barry, Primary, Washington D.C.)

How does this man continue to get elected?  What exactly is in the water down in D.C.?

Via NBC Washington:

While celebrating his Democratic primary victory in Ward 8 Tuesday night, D.C. Councilman Marion Barry delivered a remark apparently critical of Asian business owners.

Barry spoke of changes in the ward, saying he’s worked hard for economic development in the city’s poorest ward and will continue to do so and saying something needs to be done about Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Avenue.

He also seemed to criticize Asian shop owners who operate many small stores in the District.

“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

Yes, because the biggest problem facing Washington is ‘dirty Asian businesses’.

How about cleaning out crackhead politicians?  And for those who will want to jump the gun and call that statement racist, here is an FBI photo of Marion Barry smoking crack…

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