Mass Exodus

By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman

Does anyone else feel we are living in one giant Candid Camera episode? When will Allen Funt make his signature appearance to tell us that we have been living through a big joke? I know. It’s wishful thinking. So, let me explain.

Recently, the New York State Comptroller released his year-over-year report on tax revenue for the state. This April saw a 39.9 percent drop in tax revenue compared to this time in 2022. Fathom that, almost 40 percent less in tax revenue. Yet the city and the state have published record-breaking spending budgets for the following year. Can someone please tell me where they are getting the extra money? And, surprise, we are still seeing taxpayers fleeing the most expensive state in the U.S. in droves. During the pandemic, we had already lost over 500,000 residents in the top income bracket. That is why this year’s tax revenues dropped so significantly. Look for next year’s to be even worse, as we are on par to lose another 250,000. But apparently, the Governor and Mayor both know something none of us do.

How can anyone with any semblance of intelligence, or honesty, continue to push forward a budget-breaking agenda filled with pork projects, graft, and evident neglect for the very voters who fund tax revenues? For example, homeless New Yorkers are being removed from shelters in favor of migrants due to budget issues.

The city cannot afford a slice of 99-cent pizza right now (which is no longer $0.99 thanks to skyrocketing costs—most of which are born out of the very decisions that led to the aforementioned exodus). So how are we paying over $8 million per day for what, quite frankly, is a manufactured “crisis”? The Federal government has barely made a dent in paying back New York. Surprising, I know! All of this is centered around Mayor Adams’ re-election dreams and a City Council hellbent on bankrupting the city for their own agenda and political favors.

Speaking of the Federal mismanagement corporation and adding insult to injury, congestion pricing has allegedly been finalized. Yet, the MTA, Governor, Mayor, and City Council cannot be bothered to push through a commonsense approach to this “urgent program to avoid defaulting and saving the MTA.” Then again, having sense is anything but common.

In other words, look to spend over $10 per day just to come into Midtown Manhattan with your vehicle (which could be as high as $25 per day as the final price is yet to be determined), all to help save a public benefit corporation who has mismanaged their funds so badly, they had to be bailed out by Governor Paterson in 2009.

Clearly, things have not changed in 14 years as they continue to spend our money from daily fares recklessly! Oh, and we are still paying for that 2009 bailout on a daily basis. Suppose congestion pricing makes it (the headwinds and lawsuits are already stacking up against it). In that case, you can look for increased costs at restaurants, grocers, and bodegas across the city as they pass on the costs to taxpayers. And those very taxpayers are already looking to the exit, which means congestion pricing will prompt another mass exodus.

My point is simple. New York is broke. Politicians are making matters far worse. We are losing residents in a mass exodus because of a reckless tax and spending mentality that has driven every cost through the roof. This has made New York completely unapproachable for the middle class. The middle class that allowed us to be known as the Melting Pot is also leaving. It’s become more like a Melted Pot, and people are not coming back despite what the Mayor and Governor try to tell us. If you believe them over actual facts, then you are part of the problem. Stop putting your head in the sand, apologizing for their greed and malfeasance.

It is time to hold these people accountable and return to being the Empire State leading the world!