I usually just assume that liberal Democrats (or is that now redundant?) will tax and spend spend or borrow and spend as their knee jerk reaction to any crisis, large or small. That prudence was beyond them. I may have to re-think that.
I saw a bit of Coumo’s coronavirus press conference today. He was asked whether, to offset the pandemic’s hit to NY State’s revenues, he would consider authorizing a multi-billion dollar borrowing program for the State. His answer was worthy of the flintiest green-eyeshade accountant. He spoke about how borrowing should be reserved for capital projects that would increase the State’s revenue over time … like an investment. He spoke about the dangers of borrowing to fund day to day operations. How borrowing for even the best projects must be prudently analyzed against the State’s ability to repay. “Mortgaging our children’s future is not a game I’m willing to play”. He sounded like Rand Paul. I was shocked. I had always assumed that the logic of fiscal responsibility was lost on Libs. Apparently not. He actually seemed like he got it.
But then he switched gears and argued that, because NY had to be fiscally responsibly, it was incumbent upon the Federal government to fund NY state government. And to undertake massive infrastructure spending as well. That fact that the Federal government has to borrow those funds to give to NY seemed to have escaped his notice. Or perhaps in Cuomo-land, Federal borrowing does not mortgage the nation’s children’s future like NY’s borrowing mortgages the future of NYs children. Strange. Somehow, the assumption underlying his position seems to be that moving up a level of government invalidates or sidesteps all the accounting standards and principles that applied to the lower level. Has the magical thinking of Modern Monetary Theory gone mainstream Dem?