A great man died last Thursday. A man who actually believed in the ideas and ideals he espoused, which is a rarity in today’s politics. A man of conviction who, through force of law and veto, tried to make those convictions our convictions. A man whose policies are still being felt all these years later. A true liberal that believed the intent of a policy was more important than the result of a policy.
Yet, before we examine his policies and their results, we must first talk about "the speech." “The speech,” of course, refers to his address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. It put him on the national map. At the time of "the speech," the media told us it was an damning indictment of President Reagan, his policies and his vision of America as “A Shining City on a Hill.”
In those days all we had was the print and broadcast media, so it was even easier back then for “the deciders” running the various outlets to control the national narrative than it is now. Polls showed then, as now, that some 75 percent of “the deciders” were registered Democrats.
It was therefore decided that "the speech" was an accurate indictment of Reagan and his policies. The media then, as now, only looked at the surface of things and decided that is how "the speech" would be forever known. However, this "tale of two cities" was not an indictment of Reagan and his policies because as one goes below the surface, it becomes an indictment of liberals and their policies.
If one actually looks, those poor unfortunates described in "the speech' were the products of liberal policies. The failure of redistribution was being felt then and 30 years later it can be seen as an unmitigated disaster. To this day, we continue to be told that all failed policies need to be successful is more money, more rules and more income redistribution.
Yes, Mario Matthew Cuomo was a great man, but we must remember that in his day, he was just one of many in New York politics who stood above others. Our crop of politicians back in his time was nothing like the sludge we have today.
So, as the obituaries of Mario Matthew Cuomo are written, they focus on his intents and overlook his results. So, just what are those results?
First is his meddling with the health insurance industry. After he broke the wall and decided New York insurance policies should be one size fits all, politicians after him continued to meddle with “me too” legislation. The system became so screwed up that to some, Obamacare looks reasonable. This is the most lasting effect of his policies.
It was Mario Matthew Cuomo who started the creative accounting gimmick of having a quasi-state authority borrow money and give it to the state to purchase already state-owned property, and 30 years later are still paying off those bonds on property the state once owned free and clear. This has now been dubbed “back-door borrowing” and today's politicians have brought it to a fine art.
It was under Mario Matthew Cuomo and his love for more and higher taxes that the flight of manufacturing from New York began. Not only that, but banks ended up leaving New York for states that did not seek to kill the goose that laid golden eggs. Who got hurt the most as he increased the cost of living in New York? Poor and miorities–the very people he spoke about in "the speech."
Through a lot of hard work and good intentions, Mario Matthew Cuomo left our state worse off than he found it. I know this because when he tried for a fourth term, a little-known state senator defeated him.
This is what I say. What say you?