With the state budget a mess, you may be sympathetic to the idea of soaking the rich, who are plentiful hereabouts. But Governor Paterson is nervous about raising taxes on them, and there’s more than one reason. Andrew Cuomo, widely considered to be Paterson’s primary competition in 2010, is lately talking like an anti-tax crusader, as you can see from this video clip from Azi Paybarah. “When taxpayers are saying enough is enough, they’re right,” Cuomo says, “There should be a taxpayer revolt!”
It’s a neat trick: Cuomo has sufficient credentials as an opponent of the excesses of the wealthy, and is concurrently beating up Merrill Lynch for giving out fat bonuses. But his pitchfork rhetoric has got even members of the state Conservative party praising him at a recent party PAC conference where the attorney general gave a similar speech. “I’m all for it,” said Suffolk Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh, “anything to downsize government when people are being run out of their houses.” So if Paterson countenances a tax hike on anybody, people will remember Cuomo, who has no official say in matters of taxation, as a loud voice against it. Such are the benefits of power without responsibility.