Peter Warren, Gotham Gazette, Albany discussed on Max & Murphy on Politics


Hello and welcome to max politics this has been max from Gotham gazette, a publication of citizen union foundation. Thanks so much for tuning in here for this episode of the show. Today we're diving into an alternative vision for how New York State does well a lot. Economic policy, fiscal policy, taxing and spending and much more. How New York State does business is of course of the utmost importance as we are talking here in mid March just a couple of weeks before a new state budget is due, the April 1st start of the new fiscal year means that probably sometime before April 1st or around April 1st, there will be a new spending plan passed by governor hochul in the state legislature in Albany that will probably be roughly in the neighborhood of 215 to $225 billion. The governor's executive budget proposal earlier this year was about 216 billion. And the legislature will probably convince her to add to that. So today we're talking about an alternative vision, though, as the democratic governor and the democratic super majorities in the state legislature are mostly focused on what kind of spending they will add to the budget plan. We're talking about a different way to potentially do business and how to more broadly think about revitalizing parts of New York State, preventing population loss from the state, which is mostly been occurring for many years outside of New York City. And other pieces of what we're calling here, a limited government vision for economic and fiscal policy in New York. So my guest is Peter Warren of the empire center for public policy, a think tank based in Albany that focuses on state government. It is, according to its website, an independent nonpartisan nonprofit think tank located in Albany with a mission to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free market principles, personal responsibility and the ideals of effective and accountable government. Peter Warren is the organization's research director, my conversation with him in just one minute. First, if you've missed any of our recent reporting at Gotham gazette find it all, it got things that dot com. We've been covering a lot happening in New York City and state politics, and there is, of course, a great deal going on not only because it's budget season in Albany and in New York City actually, there's been a series of city council hearings on mayor Eric Adams is preliminary budget plan. The city budget season will heat up a lot more once we do get a state budget in the coming weeks because a lot of the city's budget needs and priorities will be dealt with out of Albany. But there is a lot happening in New York City and state also here on the podcast I've had a lot of great recent guests if you missed any or all of those episodes you can find them at max politics wherever you get podcasts or at the Gotham gazette site. In recent weeks, I've had some great conversations with the wide variety of guests, including just to highlight a couple. We focused on public health and the ongoing battle with COVID-19 with two doctors who were key figures in mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, most recently I had an exit interview with doctor Dave chokshi, the outgoing New York City health commissioner who just left his post to make way for mayor Adams appointee to the position, doctor chokshi had stayed on for a couple of months to help make a smooth transition, especially as the city continues to battle COVID. Talked with doctor chokshi about his roughly two year tenure as New York City health commissioner and where the city goes from here in that battle with COVID-19 and also spoke recently with doctor J varma, who is a top public health adviser to mayor de Blasio and is an internationally experienced expert on disease prevention and control. Check out those two episodes if you get a chance, those are really interesting conversations. And then just to highlight a couple of other really interesting recent guests, I spoke with Joanne yu, the executive director of the Asian American federation about the disturbing rise in violence and hate crimes against Asian American New Yorkers, what she and her organization and other Asian American leaders in the city want from city government from state government as a response to that really deeply troubling trend. And then also recently spoke with relatively new city controller Brad lander about his priorities as city controller, his reaction to mayor Adams budget, what he's doing in the controller's office to reform contracting processes, how he's going to try to get the cities infrastructure spending under control and get more bang for the buck and much more. Had a bunch of other really good recent conversations again, find them all at max politics wherever you get podcasts or at the Gotham gazette website. Okay, Peter Warren is the research director for the empire center for public policy, a think tank based in Albany. We're going to talk with Peter today about a different vision for New York State based on limited government. Peter, thanks for joining me. Great to be with you, Ben. So you are at the empire center presenting something of an alternative vision broadly speaking. I captured the mission statement of your organization from what you have on your website. But broadly speaking, how do you think about the work of the empire center, especially in this time where we have leaders in state government and have for a while now, at least the last few years when Democrats have controlled the governor's office and both houses of the state legislature where you have the powers that be in state government really mostly focused on expanding government, more government services, more government revenue development, more government spending, passing lots of legislation, some of it, bipartisan, some of it praised across the aisle, but lots of it criticized by folks who think this is government going too far. How do you think about and describe the role of the empire center in this particular atmosphere? Well, the way we view the empire center is our mission is we want to make New York of we want to make New York a better place to live for New Yorkers. We want them to have a reasonable level of taxation. We want New York to be a great place to work and to live. And what we are seeing in New York over the past decade and beyond is people leaving the voting with their feet, they're leaving with the state. And we know that New Yorkers are among the most taxed individuals in the United States. We have some of we have the highest individual taxes in the country. We have the highest marginal tax rate for individuals in New York City. We have, according to the tax foundation, the second worst business tax climate in the country, and again, we've had one and a half million net out migration of over one and a half million people in the past decade, including about a third of a million people.

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