Mar 02, 2011 4:44 PM GMT
New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Republican Chris Christie are both facing huge deficits and coming to the same conclusions.
If you're an average person whose tax money helped pay for the Wall Street bailout, what's going on in New York and New Jersey could really make you angry. Especially if you happen to live there. These states, home to lots of firms and highly compensated folks who benefited from the bailout, are both running enormous budget deficits. But both governors -- liberal New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo and conservative New Jersey Republican Chris Christie -- are cutting social services to fill the gap and won't even consider raising state income tax rates on the wealthy. What's more, they're even talking about cutting business taxes.
It's a really cruel message, if you think about it. It's telling people who are needy, many of whom are suffering the toxic after-effects of the Great Recession rather than having done anything wrong, that their needs are less important than those of upper-income types or businesses.
But you know what? It's the rational way -- and probably the right way -- for Cuomo and Christie to behave. Given the intense state-to-state competition for jobs and tax money, Cuomo and Christie don't have much of a choice.