How do you defuse a hostage situation? That’s pretty much what Andrew Cuomo has set up in his fight with Congress to get bailout money to close the budget gaps opened wider by the COVID-19 lockdown. Earlier this week, the governor of New York told a reporter that the people who came to the state to lend a hand in the crisis would have to pay state income taxes, because the budget deficit would prevent him from approving “subsidies” to the people who came from around the country to help New Yorkers.
That level of ingratitude and outright greed at the highest level of New York hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should, but it has gotten some notice. On yesterday’s The Five on Fox News Channel, former White House press secretary Dana Perino called it “disgusting,” and accused Cuomo of using good-hearted Americans as political “pawns”:
“I remember when the governor made this plea and he said, ‘Please, if you come to New York — we need additional workers, health care workers, nurses, doctors, please come to New York.’ And so many people answered the call,” Perino said. “And now he says, ‘Thank you for coming … You’re going to actually have to pay taxes on what we are paying you.’
“They’re getting paid. But it wasn’t easy to come to New York, to the epicenter where they’re putting themselves in harm’s way,” Perino added. “And then what he said today is, ‘If the federal government could help us out with some of our state losses, then maybe I wouldn’t have to do this, but sorry. Because the government won’t do it. I have to do this to you.’ That is wrong.” …
“Using [health care workers] as pawns in this scheme, terrible behavior,” Perino said. “That’s disgusting.”