We Finally Get Told There’s a Better Way - NY Gubernatorial Debate

[From: The Buffalo News]

alt="" width="240px" height="168px">After Monday night’s seven-candidate gubernatorial debate, I had the same question as everyone else: Did we really need those other five people?

The real value in the debate turned out to be the two candidates who reminded us that there is another way: Green Partyer Howie Hawkins and Freedom Partyer Charles Barron.

But since they qualified for the ballot, we also had to have the other three minor- party candidates plus Carl Paladino and Andrew Cuomo—even though the Republican and the Democrat didn’t say anything new about slashing and burning New York out of its fiscal dilemma.

If you pay attention only to a media fixated on the horse-race aspect of the race, you might think there are only two alternatives for righting New York State: cutting and gutting.

Cuomo’s more measured approach advocates a property tax cap and a freeze on income and sales taxes—without talking about the inevitable service cuts that would result.

Paladino would go further, with Medicaid for the disabled, the poor and the elderly a favored target. He’d magically cut taxes by 10 percent and state spending by 20 percent—no doubt using his tact and people skills to get the Legislature to go along.

But let’s be real: Any plan to cut our way out of this accumulated mess would have to reach far beyond poor people who buy cross-country plane tickets to come here for Medicaid. It would have to reach deep into the programs, services and jobs that keep much of the middle class afloat.

Yet with the media fixated on Paladino and Cuomo and ignoring the minor-party entries, only those who heard the 90-minute debate for themselves might ask: Is there a better way? After all, not every New Yorker has suffered. Remember those Wall Street bonuses when your 401(k) and pension fund were tanking?

“What we need to cut is tax cuts for the rich,” said Hawkins, advocating not just middle-class relief, but a more progressive tax structure. “The question isn’t whether we have more or less taxes, . . . it’s who pays the taxes.”

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