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August 30, 2006

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Sachem Head

Welcome back, David. I'd like to hear you elaborate more on fiscal stability and the governor's race. It seems like an issue that none of the campaigns are tackling head on. Instead, we will likely get a debate over taxes. And if we're lucky, that debate over taxes may contemplate property taxes as well as the income tax rate. Local aid is an issue that has some resonance, but state spending is still foggy.

David Eisenthal

I agree that none of the gubernatorial campaigns are tackling fiscal stability head on. But there's no political advantage to doing this. The five candidates focus for the most part on taxes because this is what appears to move the marginal voter. It would take extraordinary vision and courage for a candidate to focus instead on helping the state to provide services - and tax its residents and businesses - in a stable and predictable way year after year. It would also take very strong communication skills - and very strong credibility.

One can hope that once the new Governor takes office, focus will shift to the stability of the state's finances, taxation, and services. Perhaps it will be a vain hope, but it is a hope.

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