Monday, May 18, 2009

Golisano Goes

Tom Golisano is taking his leave of New York State and his departure, while failing to conjure up any real feelings of loss and regret, does make an important statement: "New York billionaire Tom Golisano is taking his big bucks elsewhere. Furious over a new "millionaire's tax" that could cost him an extra $1 million this year, the Rochester-area resident and three-time gubernatorial candidate says he's fleeing the state for Florida's Gulf Coast."

You see, when you continue to raise taxes on the wealthy-not to mention all of the businesses taxes and fees-it is bound to eventually create the kind of blowback that Golisano's departure represents. You can gnash your teeth all you want about this, but it doesn't change a thing. These kinds of policies are counterproductive-no matter how self righteous their proponents are. And, speaking of self righteousness, how about the reaction to the Golisano going from the WFP's Dan Cantor: "Working Families Party Executive Director Dan Cantor, who championed the tax hike, called Golisano's move "selfish." "It's a disgrace that this is how he pays back the state where he was presumably educated and that's been so good to him," Cantor said. "Taxes are the price you pay for civilization. He's moving to a space where there's a little bit less civilization."

How sour are the grapes here? Golisano has been a major philanthropist in New York; and he's repaid by the confiscators for his generosity with additional levies needed to compensate for their public profligacy. As the Business Council's Ken Adams tells the Post: "What kind of message does it send when a self-made entrepreneur, incredibly successful billionaire, throws in the towel on New York state?" said state Business Council President Kenneth Adams. "He's a bold-faced name making a bold move, but he follows hundreds of thousands of people who have already done the same thing."

Yes, we're driving the wealthy and business out of the state. And we have a politics that is driven by the WFP folks who, if allowed to get their way, will soon have us repeating the debacle of the 1970s; trying to run a socialist government in a capitalist economy. It appears that those sober lessons haven't really been learned.