Pollaro’s Point: Cuomo’s Battle With Trump Pushes State To Outer Limits

In his most recent public statements, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set an agenda for his first 100 days. Many of the items he wants to propel into law are important and should be done.

However, it seems to me, at least, his personal feud with President Donald Trump is pushing him to pull the state in a direction most people don’t support, unless they have a borough for an address.

In announcing his progressive, and comprehensive, agenda, Cuomo declared New York State independent of federal policies. If that’s a good thing for the state, and a laudible goal, can western New York shuffle off the coils of New York City? Does this also mean he is willing to declare New York independent of all the federal aid it gets? Fair is fair.

“Let this agenda be New York’s Declaration of Independence. We declare independence from this federal government’s policies. We disconnect from the nationalism, and the racism, and the chaos, and the xenophobia, and the misogyny, and the discrimination, and the dissembling of this Washington administration,” Cuomo said.

“We proclaim our Federal Government’s policy not only regressive, not only repugnant to New York values, we declare it un-American. Let us pass this ambitious progressive agenda as New York’s restoration of true democracy, restoring fairness, progress and pride.”

Notice he didn’t declare the state independent of corruption, play for pay or his battle with law abiding gun owners.

Cuomo called for 20 actions he hopes to accomplish within the first three months of his term in office. Some of these are reasonable and will help make life better for many New Yorkers, others though, make us California East.

Cuomo called for legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana to “end the disproportionate criminalization of one race over another by regulating, legalizing and taxing adult use of recreational marijuana.”

While I do not condone the use of marijuana, I’m not terribly concerned about it because most of the people who want it legalized are already imbibing in it.

What you do to your own body is none of my business. It’s what you do to others that I concern myself with. If you don’t want to use marijuana, you won’t whether it is legal or not. If you want to use it, you already are or will as soon as it is law.

Cuomo said the federal government prioritizes tax cuts for wealthy and corporate citizens. He vowed to maintain what he called “a just, progressive tax system that taxes its citizens based on their ability to pay.” He said New York will keep the state’s progressive income tax with a millionaire’s tax, while permanently capping regressive local property taxes at 2 percent.

This from a man who heads one of the highest taxed states in the Union. I suspect Cuomo has issues with a state local tax deduction cap because now more taxpayers will see just how much the state is taking from them.

Cuomo also wants to officially codify and protect abortion by passing the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act within the first 30 days of the new session.

He calls it reproductive health. I’ve asked before, what is being reproduced in an abortion? My contention is that Cuomo doesn’t talk with his priest very much about his abortion stand. This is one of those cases where a woman’s body is her body and no one else’s, but the baby’s life is the baby’s life and no one else’s.

Cuomo, a long-time supporter of gun control, vowed to pass the Red Flag Law, ban bump stocks and extend the waiting period for purchasing a gun from three days to 10 days.

None of these laws, mind you, would prevent a mass shooting, nor I would argue, are Constitutional. There are already thousands of gun laws on the books which are not enforced. You want to see a decline in mass shootings, protect schools as much as we protect city hall, banks and government offices.

He also called for adding an additional $150 billion for enhanced and safe infrastructure.

This is one of the few agenda items I agree with. Other than rushing the Mario Cuomo Bridge to get it done before the election, with bolts falling off on a regular basis, Cuomo has done a good job of working on the state’s infrastructure at a state level.

Cuomo also called for passing the Dream Act for illegal immigrants to ensure higher education for all people in New York.

Why does he push to help illegal immigrants in this state when they are unlikely to return a penny’s worth of Cuomo’s beloved tax money to the state coffers. Votes perhaps?

Claiming the federal government is seeking to disenfranchise voters, Cuomo promised to  allow voting by mail, enacting early voting, instituting same day and automatic voter registration, synchronizing federal and state elections and make Election Day a State Holiday to ensure as many people as possible participate in the democratic process.

Voting worked fine for years, until convenience began to intrude on safeguards and accuracy.

I suspect same-day registration and voting by mail will allow the illegal immigrants mentioned above to register and vote before they can be weeded out. If some one wants to vote badly enough, they will fill out the paperwork and go to the polls.

Cuomo will push to pass the Child Victims Act and protect LGBTQ rights by codifying the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act into New York State law and end conversion therapy.

I agree we should protect our children but I find it strange that Cuomo and his ilk want to protect children after they are born but not before they are born.

I also commend him for pushing against discrimination of any sort against any race, creed, orientation or against either of the two sexes. I wish he would push a bit more to protect middle class, hard working people. You know, the ones who pay the heavy tax burden he so covetously wants.

How can he call for unity among state lawmakers and citizens when he pushes direct defiance of the federal policies. As Benjamin Franklin said, we must all hang together, or surely we will hang separately.

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