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The Paladino Jobs Plan

September 30, 2010

In addition to misrepresenting what happened between Carl Paladino and Fred Dicker last night, the media ignored a major policy speech by a gubernatorial candidate. 

The first thing you need to know about that speech is how it ended – with a standing ovation. 

The second thing you need to know is that the 300 business leaders in the audience weren’t applauding Carl Paladino’s oratorical skills. Paladino is no Cuomo, and that’s the point. 

Again and again, Paladino, in his plain-spoken, unvarnished way, drew a distinction between Cuomo’s “big government” approach and his approach, which he described as “exactly the opposite.” 

For example, where Cuomo would create a series of regional panels to help determine who receives state economic development assistance, Paladino would establish a single statewide panel of experts to develop a sustained program of tax cutting. 

According to Paladino, cutting property taxes, income taxes and business taxes is the only way to create jobs. And to finance major program of tax cutting, Paladino would cuts tens of billions of dollars in state spending. 

In response the claim that such spending reductions can’t be done, Paladino offered this  retort: “People say there’s no way that we can cut Medicaid by $20 billion. But I say that if we just reduced the size of our Medicaid program to the size of other states, we could do it.” 

He then explained how California, with a greater population and more immigrants, spends billions less on Medicaid. 

This particular construct has always intrigued us. We’re sensitive to the comments of practitioners in the social services field who say we can’t cut programs and services without harming people. And yet, if we simply reduced spending to levels to something near the national average, how can it be said that we’re taking draconian action and eviscerating programs and services? 

According to Paladino, this is what the state can and must do. He says we can’t afford to spend more than national averages and, indeed, more than any other state on such programs. And there appeared to be an awful lot people last night who enthusiastically agreed with him.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Alisa Costa permalink
    September 30, 2010 2:10 PM

    I don’t think you can compare overall costs state by state. If you want to look at what costs us so much in our entitlement programs you need to break it down.

    How much do we pay our social workers compared with other states? And what is their comparative caseload?

    What services are our Medicaid patients receiving in comparison to other states?

    How much paperwork needs to be filed for those enrolled in social programs and how many people does it need to go through?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you save a ton of money just by cutting down on paperwork and the amount of requirements and proofs recipients have to put together.

    When New York City instituted emergency Medicaid programs immediately after 9/11, it proved you can indeed easily insure people in need much more efficiently. Unfortunately, the enrollment process is so cumbersome to keep people out. And that’s at a grave cost to taxpayers.

    I believe, once you get below the surface, you will learn a lot more about cost cutting and how to make our system most efficient. And it’s not about increase caseloads or making it harder for people to receive services. It’s exactly the opposite.

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