Ed Driscoll

Andrew Cuomo is Kidding Himself

“You are kidding yourself if you think you can be one of the highest-taxed states in the nation, have a reputation for being anti-business — and have a rosy economic future,” says the Democrat governor of New York in a New York Post article that the Professor links to.

But actually, Cuomo likely is kidding himself, since his predecessor said almost the same thing when he first took office. In April of 2008, Nicole Gelinas of City Journal captured this vignette when David Paterson replaced disgraced fellow Democrat, Elliot Spitzer, as governor of New York:

Paterson cited a number of personal friends, all former New Yorkers, who have contacted him from out of state since his ascent to the governorship. “A friend from primary school, Randy San Antonio, told me he moved to Dallas 20 years ago,” Paterson began. “Another friend, Randy Watts, had moved to Reno. A friend from Syracuse, Marvin Lee Simons, said he’s working in Lower Manhattan. I said we should get together . . . and he said, ‘Well, I don’t live in New York. I live in western Pennsylvania.’ Jeff and Stacey Stackhouse wanted to start a business on Long Island. They moved two years ago—they’re trying to start their business in Charlotte, North Carolina. They couldn’t pay the taxes here.”

Here’s a quick flashback to a couple of quotes we rounded up in 2009, beginning with Neil Cavuto of Fox News, who mentioned a rather prominent New York resident who was leaving the state, and Gov. Paterson’s less than empathetic response:

Rush Limbaugh to New York: “Drop dead. I’m leaving.” New York to Rush: “Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out.”

And with that, New York Governor David Paterson laughed off a millionaire packing up and heading out. Paterson even found it funny.

“If I knew that would be the result,” he said of Rush’s leaving, “I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.” Everyone laughed. Why?

Because this isn’t about a broadcaster named Rush, but a tax hiking rage for which politicians seem in such a rush. The governor is free to laugh off Rush bolting from a fancy Fifth Avenue penthouse condominium.

Clearly, the gov’s not a fan of Rush. But I suspect he is a fan of Rush’s money. He’s going to need it. And now he won’t have it. And if other rich guys join Rush, guys like Donald Trump….he won’t have a lot of it, or them.

Also in April of 2009, as Newsmax noted, “Trump Furious Over New York Taxes:”

New York’s most famous billionaire, Donald Trump, is furious over his state’s proposed “millionaires’ tax.”

He hasn’t yet said he would leave the state, but he did place an angry phone call to New York Gov. David Paterson to complain about the plan to impose new taxes on residents earning more than $500,000 a year.

“It’s very dangerous, what’s going on in Albany,” Trump — host of the hit TV show “Celebrity Apprentice” — told New York Post columnist Linda Stasi after his call to Paterson.

“Rich people are going to leave this state. Why should they pay New York State taxes on money they made out of state?”

He added: “I told the governor, everyone is going to move to Palm Beach [Fla.], the nicest place in the world, where there is no income tax!”

Asked by Stasi if he would be leaving New York, Trump replied: “No comment. And you know what that means.”

Trump, of course, lives part-time at his world famous Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, so finding new permanent digs in a state with no income tax would be easy.

Last month in Forbes, Merrill Matthews said that one way or another, there’s a “Red State in Your Future:”

Voters around the country are concluding it’s better to be red than dead—applying a whole meaning to an old phrase.  If you do not currently live in a red state, there’s a good chance you will be in the near future.  Either you will flee to a red state or a red state will come to you—because voters fed up with blue-state fiscal irresponsibility will elect candidates who promise to pass red-state policies.

Anytime now, New York State, anytime now. Because otherwise, what will Cuomo & Co. do beyond rearranging the deck chairs onboard an SS Albany that’s long been taking on water?

Related: “Joel Kotkin: Illinois in Big Trouble.”

I’m sensing a theme here.