By William F. B. O’Reilly
I get the same feeling about Albany. We’re just a few days into the 2015 legislative session and already it’s clear that nothing to sharpen New York’s competitive edge is even on the table. New York needs good fastball hitters and Albany’s arguing over centerfield signage.
Other states don’t have this problem. Florida announced another feather in its cap Monday. Voxx International, the car stereo company, is moving its headquarters to Orlando. The company formerly known as Audiovox has been on Long Island since 1960.
“Florida will provide an excellent location and a pro-business climate,” Voxx chief executive Pat Lavelle said, not so subtly zinging New York for its nation-trailing business climate.
Pennsylvania is in the hunt. The state reaping billions of dollars from natural gas drilling — New York turned up its nose at the opportunity — has been feasting on Entenmann’s cakes since August, when that company moved west from New York after 116 years.
Texas was responsible for 23% of the nation’s economic growth in 2012. It’s clearly trying. So is Alabama, which recruited Remington Arms Co. away from upstate Ilion last year, just as Virginia lured Altria Group from Park Avenue.
It’s no secret why businesses and families keep leaving New York. With the highest taxes in America and the most arduous business regulations, New York has become one big ripoff. Moving makes sense. Staying doesn’t.
If you think the State Legislature is on the case, think again. The state with higher Medicaid costs than Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania combined is actually debating whether to expand Medicaid into a single-payer health care system, and arguing whether the most classroom spending in America is enough.
Other topics of interest? Taxpayer-funded elections. Scholarships for immigrants here illegally. Criminal justice reform, aka, sticking it to NYC cops. Even fewer restrictions on abortion.
I can almost hear Casey Stengel, manager of the of the 1964 Mets. “Can’t anybody here play this game?” he asked of the 53-109 team.
William F. B. O’Reilly is a Republican consultant.