With the primary election behind him, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently felt safe enough to take a few rare questions from the local press yesterday. One pushy reporter had the audacity to ask the Governor about the large numbers of people fleeing the Empire State over the past several years and our expected loss of yet another congressional seat after the next census. Sticking to his usual form, Cuomo blew off any suggestion that the state Democrats’ liberal policies were driving people away, instead blaming sinking population numbers on… the weather. (Fox 5 NY)
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the upstate weather for prompting New Yorkers to flee to other states.
Cuomo told reporters Tuesday that while job losses and high taxes once drove people to leave New York, his administration has ended that trend and improved the local economic situation.
He said many of the New Yorkers leaving the state now are doing so for personal reasons or decisions that he called “climate based.”
The comments came after Cuomo’s Republican challenger, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, said on Monday that Cuomo has failed to stem the number of New Yorkers leaving for states with lower taxes and more jobs.
Two things about the Governor’s comments. First of all, “his administration” has not ended trends in population shifts, job losses or high taxes. They’ve actually exacerbated most of those factors. But the overall economy has been on such a tear that things have actually improved a bit in the upstate region. That’s in spite of the Cuomo administration, not because of it. While there has been some situational property tax relief to keep the locals from completely rebelling, income tax, sales tax, school taxes, taxes on business and all the rest are just as bad.
Second, the weather hasn’t changed noticeably. All you have to do is ask anyone who’s lived here for a few decades. Yes, we’ve had some unseasonably warm winters where there was very little snow in recent years. We’ve also had some where we were hammered by nearly record-setting blizzards. Just like we did when I was growing up as a kid. A certain number of people have always moved south to get away from the winters here because the winters in New York absolutely suck.
The one reality the Governor can’t deny is that New York nearly leads the nation in the number of people fleeing to other states. More citizens moved out of New York in 2016 than moved into the state, and did so at the highest rate in the nation. (Most of the difference was made up by immigrants, not people coming here from other states.) Taxes, government regulations, bad business climate for job growth, gun control… the list goes on.
But you keep trying to blame it on the weather, Governor Cuomo. Perhaps during your next term you can blame Canada.