This Never Would Have Happened in a Blue State

The front page of the New York Times reports a bullying Governor refusing to maintain an income tax surcharge on high earners, and instead slashing money for public education and Medicaid.

An outrage!  This is why we need to elect Democrats.

Oh, wait a minute….

This never would have happened if Mario Cuomo were alive.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

10 thoughts on “This Never Would Have Happened in a Blue State”

  1. This never would have happened if Mario Cuomo were alive.

    You seem to mixing up one Italian-American NY politician (M. Cuomo) for another (G. Ferraro).

    Only the latter is dead.

  2. Doesn’t anyone else remember the SNL piece on the various ignominious retreats on foreign and domestic fronts that would never have happened if Reagan had survived the Hinckley shooting?

  3. “People really don’t get jokes?”

    There is no joke that someone won’t misunderstand. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make fun of people for misunderstanding them anyway. And The Lonely Conservative is pretty low on the tool-use scale.

    “Doesn’t anyone else remember the SNL piece on the various ignominious retreats on foreign and domestic fronts that would never have happened if Reagan had survived the Hinckley shooting?”

    I do! “Certainly Reagan, who was the union president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, would never have fired the air traffic controllers over their attempts to unionize.”

  4. An outrage! This is why we need to elect Democrats.

    Oh, wait a minute….

    Yes, because a Governor Guiliani or a Governor Bloomberg would never cut taxes on the wealthy at the expense of public services for the middle class. :-p

    I mean, I agree. You expect better from Democrats. But you need to put pressure on said Democrats. They respond to pressure. The difference between a Governor Cuomo and a Governor Walker is that Cuomo will pay a political price for his decision with his teacher union basis. If he’s making these choices, the unions and the parents need to ratchet up the pressure on him. A Governor Walker doesn’t give a shit. You can ratchet pressure all you want and he’ll just double down on evil and stupid.

  5. Clearly, the joke is on us, liberals and Democrats, not because we don’t understand the punchline, but because we don’t understand who is punching us.

    By and large, the elected politicians of the Democratic Party have been facilitating what the Republicans have been pressing forward, as economic policy: tax cuts for the rich and for large business corporations, austerity, “entitlement cuts”, disinvestment in infrastructure, education and public services, legal impunity for the elite, widespread financial predation and business corruption, and, of course, no accountability for any politician of either Party (because we are so damn bi-partisan and all).

    It is worth remembering, as we watch this play out in State Houses, and on the national stage, that Democrats have played their part in making it happen. We’ll see the least significant Democrats, when there’s no chance of winning, playing the hero, as the State Senate Democrats did in Wisconsin, by leaving the State for a time. But, on the higher rungs of the political ladder, there will be no such heroism.

    On the national stage, Obama and the Congressional caucuses gave the Republicans the power to do what they are doing, by giving the Republicans, the extension of the Bush taxcuts for the wealthy, taxcuts the Democrats supposedly opposed, and, as part of this grand bargain, did not pass a debt ceiling extension, and did not pass a current year budget.

    I say again, as I have before, that Obama and many centrist Democrats are playing for the other team. They are playing for the corporate plutocracy.

  6. Who is not playing for the corporate plutocracy though? What choice does a progressive, liberal voter in this country even have?

  7. I’m not sure what I think of Andrew Cuomo just yet. I don’t like all of the things he’s doing, but the thing that I feared the most–the property tax cap–didn’t make it into the budget. Perhaps it’s not dead yet, but I hope it is. And while the other stuff isn’t great, I’m not sure what else he can do. I’d rather have him raise taxes, even if it’s by a lesser amount, and make fewer cuts to education spending. I’m specifically curious why there was no discussion of trying to squeeze some more money from Wall Street–if that’s possible, that is. I’m not sure if there can be a tax at the state level that specifically tries to target one industry, but New York has a lot of Wall Street and hedge fund types. Perhaps they could pony up a little more.

    As far as Medicaid goes, I’m trying to figure out exactly what was cut and whether it was worthy. Not all health care spending is good spending. If spending is found to be wasteful, then perhaps it should be cut, even if it does displace some people. New York supposedly spends more than California on its Medicaid patients, despite California having twice the number of people enrolled, so I have to imagine there is a significant amount of fat to cut. I’m ready to change my mind, though, so if anyone knows of a good place to read more about this, I am all ears.

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