Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Saving Private Enterprise

Liz Benjamin posted yesterday on our relationship with the Committee to Save New York: "Sensitive to the class warfare criticism of its effort to assist Gov. Andrew Cuomo that has emerged in recent weeks, the business-backed Committee to Save New York is trying to diversify its membership by employing the services of a well-know lobbyist for the small business set: Richard Lipsky."

To us, it was important of demonstrate that Governor Cuomo's reform agenda to restore fiscal sanity to New York was something that resonated beyond the upper echelon of the state's business elite-as it certainly does. We have been talking to business groups and local chambers of commerce all over New York, and the response to the Governor's call for the restoration of a business friendly environment has been universally applauded.

We appreciate the kudos from CSNY's Bill Cunningham as well: "He’s got a network of people around the state that have a lot of experience with the taxing policies of the state of New York – the small business guys, people who are trying to make a living running small businesses and they run up against the policies they think make life difficult for them,” Cunnginham explained. “…He’s going to fill that niche for us. He’s helping us sort of activate that network of small business owners.”

What is clear to us is that the policies that slow business growth and impede job development impact more severely on the state's  smaller business owners-and this is even more true for the so-called millionaire's tax that would put a real crimp on hiring. And, as the Committee has pointed out: "In fact, 76% of those who pay the tax aren’t even millionaires; they’re small business owners and hard-working middle class families trying to make it in New York."

These are those folks we have labeled the skinny cats. As we told YNN: "I certainly agree with the governor’s agenda and have been blogging consistently, I don’t know how many years, about reducing the size of government,” Lipsky told me. “A lot of my clients – particularly all the small business groups believe the same. I thought it was a natural fit as far as that’s concerned…There have been a lot of ‘fat cat’ attacks. The fact is there’s a lot of skinny kittens that are affected by government regulations and the tax environment in New York.”

As we pointed out yesterday in response to a Times Union Op-ed, the idea that government should be seen as a job generator is to view economic development from a fun house mirror. We need government to do much less-and to extract less from the job generators in the process. The governor has started off on the right foot. Now it is the job of all of us who want to grow New York's economy to support his efforts to make our state a better place to start a business in.