I have spent most of my business career fixing failing companies. It is always a daunting responsibility coming into these situations. Invariably, after years of prior mismanagement, the company is running low in cash, so that mismanagement has sadly endangered the jobs of its employees. Real people are suffering because their leaders failed them. While those leadership failures can be driven by different factors, it is typically because those leaders lost sight of their core mission, stopped serving their customers well or engaged in corrupt practices that damaged the company and its employees.
To turnaround these companies, I have developed a clear playbook. We start with the mission of the company and a relentless focus on serving its customers. We develop a vision of how to become world class in that mission and in service to our customers, typically by studying what our most successful competitors are doing so much better. Then we develop a plan to close the gap with our competitors as quickly as possible. This takes a rigorous focus on execution and rallying large groups of people to work together, as a huge team, to achieve that plan.
And that is exactly what we need to do in New York State. Just like in a failed company, the mismanagement of the Cuomo/Hochul regime has devastated New York State. The State’s customers – the voters and taxpayers of the state – want high-quality public services at a reasonable cost. But New York State delivers the opposite – low-quality public services at the highest possible cost. We have the highest taxes in the country, and spend substantially more per capita than even other deep blue states like California and Massachusetts, yet our public schools are below the national average; our public health system, by many metrics, is at or near the bottom; we have enormous infrastructure challenges; and we have skyrocketing crime across the state. This is a “lose-lose” for taxpayers – poor services at a high cost. What our leaders need to deliver is a “win-win” – higher quality services at a reasonable cost.
How do I know this can be done? Because virtually every state in the country does a better job, in aggregate, than New York. As a specific example, out of many, Massachusetts has the top-ranked public schools in the country and the best public health system in the country, yet Massachusetts spends roughly 1/3 less per capita than New York State does. There are many other examples that underscore just how much room for improvement we have here in NY – if only we had a governor that had the skills, the experience and the courage to drive a turnaround for the state to close the gap with better performing states.
That is what I will deliver in our first year. How? Because the New York Governor has the most expansive budgetary authority of any governor in the country, and I will use that leverage to implement our Turnaround Plan for New York. That plan includes:
Clean Up Albany
The Washington Post recently listed New York as the most corrupt state government in the country, and it’s no surprise: Governor Cuomo resigned in disgrace just last year, elevating his running mate Kathy Hochul to replace him, and she then picked her own Lieutenant Governor, who in turn resigned in disgrace just a few months later. But this culture of corruption is not an aberration – it is an outgrowth of a broken state government where political insiders stack the rules in their favor. They shake down special interests for campaign contributions, and then repay them with taxpayer-funded projects that benefit those same interests. They write the rules to make it hard to challenge them, including the infamous, and blatantly unconstitutional, gerrymandering just this year by Albany Democrats.
To fix the policy problems, we have to fix the broken governance of Albany, and we need an outsider who can not be bought and who is not beholden to any of the Albany special interests to do it. That is why the first set of policy proposals I laid out was a government reform plan to address these failures of governance.
With these changes, we will have taken a big step toward eliminating the culture of corruption in Albany.
Crime has been skyrocketing across New York, in large part due to terrible soft-on-crime policies enacted by Albany politicians over the last few years. They have passed bad policies, allowed certain district attorneys to not enforce the law and refused to support the police. As a result, the criminals have been emboldened and crime has skyrocketed. My plan will turn it around. Through a combination of bold reforms and common-sense solutions we will crack down on crime and make New York safer. As Governor I will fully fund the police, keep dangerous criminals in jail, and hold rogue district attorneys accountable. We will keep New Yorkers safe.
Taxes and Spending
We will rebuild the entire budget from the ground up, as I have done in company after company, focusing on serving the core needs of New Yorkers far better than we do today, while cutting waste and ineffective programs. No one else running for governor has the skill set or experience needed to develop this Turnaround Plan—or the courage to see it through. Under state law, if the legislature doesn’t pass a budget by March 31st, they will not get paid until they do. I will negotiate in good faith, but I refuse to compromise on what New Yorkers need the most: lower taxes, a lower cost of living, better quality services, and safer streets. I have negotiated hundreds of far more complicated deals, and I have managed to develop win-win solutions every time. New York State will be no different. By the end of 2023, New York will be a far more affordable, far more prosperous, and far safer place to live and work for all New Yorkers if I am elected governor in November.
Specifically, we will reduce enough wasteful and ineffective spending that we will be able to cut income taxes by 20% and cut property taxes by 20% — a total game-changer for families across the state. The way we can reduce property taxes – a local tax – is by relieving local governments of certain state mandates, including their cost sharing for Medicaid, in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar reduction in property taxes. In this way the local governments would be financially neutral, and all of the savings would be passed on to homeowners through lower property taxes.
Regulatory Reform to Reduce the Cost of Living
While bad policies coming out of Washington are driving inflation to 40 year highs, unnecessarily burdensome Albany regulations play a significant role in the sky-high cost of living in New York. Before the recent temporary reduction, Albany taxes amount to $0.48/gallon of gasoline. As much as one-third of your electric utility bill can be due to taxes. Food regulations unnecessarily restrict supply and drive up prices for consumers. And our housing policies have not evolved in decades, leading to a supply-demand imbalance that also unnecessarily drives up costs for renters and homeowners, especially middle class and working class housing. As part of our first budget, and continuing throughout the first year, we will do a deep dive on all regulations that increase the cost of living and apply a rigorous cost/benefit assessment to each so that we strip away unhelpful regulations so working families benefit from the changes.
Turn ARound New York
Rising crime, out of control taxes, skyrocketing cost of living, corrupt politicians – New York needs a turnaround. This is our last, best chance to turnaround New York. We will do whatever it takes to save this state. The career politicians and insiders have run the state into the ground, but it’s not too late to turn it around. That’s what I’ve spent my life doing, and, for the sake of 20 million New Yorkers, this is the most important turnaround yet.
For more info, watch my full interview on News 12.