Shaffer on Youth Drain

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/nyregion/13census.htmlWith all the talk about the youth drain from New York, we called over to David Shaffer at the Public Policy Institute to see which of the gubernatorial candidates is strongest on keeping young adults instate.

While he noted that none of the candidates have completely unveiled their plans, he said he was encouraged that Spitzer, Faso and Suozzi all seem to genuinely recognize that there is a problem.

“They are not just pandering when they talk about it,” he said, “though he added none are yet to provide a “real solution.”

Of the two major candidates, each has their strong points, according to Shaffer.

“Spitzer has probably talked more forcefully than the others about downtown redevelopment and the importance of university R & D,” as a means to spur growth, said Shaffer.

Faso long suit, on the other hand, is his record as a fiscal conservative, balancing tax cuts with spending cuts. When it comes to the School Tax Relief (Star) program, Faso’s plan included some plans to control local spending. “Spitzer’s hasn’t,” said Shaffer, “but that’s the sort of thing that can evolve.”

So far then, it seems to be a draw, with one interesting observation.
For all the fervor about reforming Albany, and taking a path different from that chosen by governor George Pataki, Mr. Shaffer found it somewhat ironic that the centerpiece of both candidates’ tax plans, the STAR program, was Mr. Pataki’s brainchild.

“The more interesting thing is to find the two candidates running on the Pataki idea,” said Shaffer. “And it was his own personal brainstorm. You have all these people talking about changing Albany and at the top of their list there is this 9-year-old plan of a sitting Governor.”

- Jason Horowitz