Thursday, April 26, 2007

Surpluses and Minuses

As the NY Sun editorializes this morning, the question of what to do about the huge $4 billion plus city surplus is bound to be a bone of contention between the mayor and the city council. The Sun's focus, however, is on the salutary impact of cutting taxes. The paper believes, and we tend to agree, that record surpluses do come on the heels of tax cutting policies.

In addition, as the Sun points out, the city is still on the top of the list when it comes to taxing its citizens and businesses. This is not the kind of platform that will make for an attractive national campaign, should the mayor decide that he wants to spend his money tilting at windmills.

In spite of this, the mayor appears ready to horde the surplus in anticipation of future rainy days. Incongruously, Mayor Mike talked about the dangers of "throwing caution to the wind," and mentioned something about "wine, women and song," that was directed at the idea of returning more of the people's money than he feels is prudent. Since when is it profligate to return the people's money back to them?

Our view has always been that the rainy day dodge should be applied, not to the city's future fortunes, but to its beleaguered tax payers. Lowering taxes and increasing investment and business productivity goes hand-in-hand. You'd think that a businessman would get this.