How confident is the unelected Governor of New York that she can’t possibly be defeated by a Republican in an election in her state? Based on one of her stump speeches yesterday, her confidence is off the charts. In one of the more shocking displays of vile partisanship I can recall hearing in my lifetime, Kathy Hochul delivered a message to the state’s more than five million registered Republicans. Get out. She literally said that all New York Republicans should “jump on a bus” and move to Florida “where you belong.” She topped that demand off with a claim that Republicans “are not New Yorkers.” The responses to this sickening display came in a fast and furious fashion, including one from Tim Hoefer at the New York Post. Hochul might want to think before opening her mouth in the future because plenty of people from both parties are already fleeing her state and she is not blameless in the current exodus.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who hasn’t proven shy about issuing orders, had one for the state’s Republicans this week — all 5.4 million of them: “Just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong, OK?” she said. “You are not New Yorkers.”
If you can move beyond the frankly disgusting political partisanship and intolerance, her message is fiscally irresponsible, even dangerous. The governor probably already knows this, but the state’s extensive public sector is heavily reliant on personal income taxes paid by residents, and with nearly $14 billion in projected budget gaps over the next five years, it can’t afford to lose any taxpayers, let alone 5.4 million of them.
The Empire State has already lost 1.5 million residents in the past decade, and there’s no sign of that trend letting up. In fact, more than 350,000 New Yorkers relocated during the 12 pandemic-plagued months leading up to July 1, 2021.
Hochul specifically called for Republicans to leave, but it’s a safe bet that she feels the same way about the hundreds of thousands of members of the Conservative Party of New York (of which I’m a member). As such, I feel that the Governor’s “invitation” was directed at me as well. If anything, she probably hates us even more.
As Hoefer points out in the linked editorial, this is essentially unprecedented in American politics. Traditionally, when someone runs for Governor or any elected office, they seek that position knowing that they have to represent and lead on behalf of everyone in the applicable electorate. Yes, we all know that not everything is going to go the way you might prefer if your candidate of choice fails to prevail, but it’s still expected that a governor will make decisions based on what they perceive to be in the best interest of all of the state’s citizens. But now, Kathy Hochul has torn away the mask and let everyone who disagrees with her know that she despises millions of the people she is sworn to represent and would prefer that they move elsewhere.
A statement like this is not only immoral and hateful, but it’s politically suicidal in terms of the future welfare of the state of New York. People had been moving out of the state in droves all during Andrew Cuomo’s tenure in the Governor’s Mansion and they continue to do so under the Hochul regime. New York has lost congressional seats in the last two census periods for a reason. I find myself thinking back on all the taxes my family has paid into the state’s coffers in the more than thirty years since I moved back to the state of my birth. Now multiply that by the number of Republicans, conservatives, and right-leaning independents in the state over that period of time. Without all of that money, New York wouldn’t be able to afford to plow the snow in the winter, to say nothing of all the rest of its bloated budget.
And it’s not just individuals who have been leaving, by the way. Businesses have been moving out as well and taking all of the jobs they create with them. The Democrats had already long since made it clear that gun manufacturers were not welcome in the Empire State. And what happened? They left. One of the state’s larger industries dating back to before the Civil War has now been almost entirely gutted, leaving ghost towns in its wake. And if you’re a business owner in New York, there’s a good chance that you lean conservative, or at least that you will after spending a few years dealing with the State’s outrageous tax rates and crushing regulations. Would Kathy Hochul like to see even more of them leave?
The sad reality is that my wife and I had already been talking about taking Hochul up on her offer well before she spoke the words aloud. And we’ve talked seriously about it for pretty much all of the reasons listed above. I’ve pretty much given up hope that the people of New York will wake up in sufficient numbers and vote in leaders who will change these self-destructive policies. The voters keep doing the same thing over and over while somehow expecting different results. If we didn’t both have family in the state, I probably would have left before now.