New York is losing people at an alarming rate. According to The New York Post, recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that “between July 2017 and July 2018, the Empire State lost 180,306 people and gained only 131,746 new residents. A difference of 48,560 abandoned New York — the biggest decrease of any state in the US.”
While the number of people living in New York City increased by nearly half a million from 2010 to 2017, more and more people are actually moving away from the city. Despite the decline in population, New York has recently implemented several very progressive policies. These liberal policies and the state’s dramatic shift to the left have created an inhospitable environment for those living in the state.
Tax Hikes and New Health Welfare Programs
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, and New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently proposed that “Americans who happen to be very rich pay upward of 70 percent tax on their incomes.” Ocasio-Cortez intended to use the tax hike to fund her Green New Deal.
According to Americans for Tax Reform, “the current top federal income tax rate is 37 percent, so the Ocasio-Cortez plan will nearly double the tax rate for the top bracket. New York State has a top income tax rate of 8.82 percent while New York City has a top rate of 3.876 percent. So under this proposal, her constituents would pay a top combined income tax rate of 82.7 percent.”
While some might argue that the “very rich” should pay more in taxes, the so-called progressive proposals by Warren and Ocasio-Cortez have historically failed and carry many risks. For example, the wealthiest people in New York could very well decide to leave the state for a more tax-friendly environment. Additionally, companies could decide against setting up shop in New York if they would face exorbitant taxes.
Along these same lines, if companies choose not to locate in New York because of the high taxes, there could be fewer job opportunities for New Yorkers. By way of example, this socialistic approach was previously implemented in Sweden and failed miserably. As a result, New Yorkers should be cognizant of the risks associated with these proposed changes to the tax laws, as they could make their lives more difficult.
Aside from the incredibly high tax hikes, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently promised comprehensive health care to the city’s roughly 8.5 million constituents, regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status. According to an article in Your America:
‘This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can’t afford it, or can’t get comprehensive Medicaid — including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers,’ spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted.
At a press conference Tuesday, de Blasio said the plan will provide primary and specialty care, from pediatrics to OBGYN, geriatric, mental health and other services, to the city’s roughly 600,000 uninsured.
The city already has the foundation for such a plan — a public health insurance option that helps get direct care to undocumented residents.
De Blasio’s socialistic “health care for all” plan, which sounds nice to the ear, will need funding. When New Yorkers learn about the financial obligations to fund this plan, some could very well have second thoughts and reject this idea altogether, as it will simply be too costly to fund and maintain.
Cuomo Signs the Dream Act
In addition to comprehensive health care for all, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently confirmed that he would sign the Dream Act, a bill that would offer illegal aliens access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education. One of the motivating factors behind this act was President Trump’s tough stance on immigration.
However, this act could divert funds away from families who need help and who legally reside in New York. According to an article in The New York Times: “’Middle-class families across New York continue to struggle with high tuition costs and oppressive taxes,’ said Republican Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh. ‘As state representatives, it is our duty to ensure that our state government operates in the best interests of New York’s families’ and not undocumented immigrants, she said.”
Therefore, some New Yorkers are rightfully concerned that this liberal policy is putting the needs of undocumented immigrants above the needs of the state’s lawful middle-class families (and citizens).
Broad New Abortion Laws
Another recent and major change in New York revolved around the state’s abortion laws. Cuomo recently signed the Reproductive Health Act, which expanded abortion until birth. As set forth in the Times Union:
The Reproductive Health Act does three things. First, it strips abortion from the state’s criminal code and places it entirely within the realm of public health law. Second, it expands who can perform the procedure from beyond just physicians to any licensed, certified or authorized health care practitioner for whom abortion is within their scope of practice.
Finally, it legalizes abortion after 24 weeks in cases where it would protect a woman’s health or where a fetus is not viable. State law previously only allowed abortions after 24 weeks if the woman’s life was in jeopardy.
In other words, thanks to this new law, if a pregnant woman is stabbed and her baby dies, the perpetrator would be absolved from criminal liability under the abortion law because it is no longer governed by the criminal code. Moreover, under certain circumstances, the law would technically permit an abortion when a baby was fully formed and could easily survive outside of the womb.
This ultra-liberal policy likely won’t sit well with some women, like the state’s moderate liberals as well as many conservatives.
A New Opportunity to Curtail Gun Rights
Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to take up its first gun rights case in many years. The case revolves around NYC’s prohibition against carrying a licensed, locked, and unloaded handgun outside the city limits. The appeal to the High Court was filed by three New York residents (and New York’s National Rifle Association affiliate) after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed their claim and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
The Supreme Court’s eventual decision could help shape gun rights and the level of discretion that judges can apply to gun laws in the future. If the Supreme Court upholds the city’s prohibition, it would significantly diminish the rights of Second Amendment enthusiasts in the city and elsewhere, if other states follow suit.
The state of New York is undoubtedly pursuing a far-left agenda. Time will tell whether these progressive policies will continue to garner support or whether more New Yorkers will ultimately realize that the liberal policies are hurting them and creating an inhospitable environment.