During an appearance on “Live from the State Capitol” this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo told radio host Fred Dicker the situation with the state budget is “grim.” He blamed the situation on tough times on Wall Street and described the current backlash against the financial industry as “hyperbole” fueled by “extremist groups on steroids.”
New York State collected approximately $400 million less in tax revenues than was expected for the for the first half of the fiscal year. Governor Cuomo told Mr. Dicker that the revenue shortfall would have a drastic effect on next year’s budget.
“Look, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t say the numbers are worrisome,” Governor Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo identified Wall Street’s cash flow problems major cause of the tax revenue shortfall that is wreaking havoc on the budget.
“Wall Street for us is very important and the way they pay on Wall Street, and the bonuses that they pay are very important to us, and we tend to feel that or start to gauge that now towards the end of the year when these [budget] decisions are being made and the revenue starts to come in. The news is not good,” Governor Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo’s comments about Wall Street’s importance to New York State prompted Mr. Dicker to ask about politicians who support the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has labeled those who work in the financial industry “the one percent.”
“Many people in your party, maybe they’re a fringe, but they’re certainly high profile, demonize the people on Wall Street, bill them as the money grubbing one percenters. … What do you make of that, if you’ll except the phrase, demonization of Wall Street?” Mr. Dicker asked.
Governor Cuomo said he thinks anti-Wall Street sentiment is fueled by “a lot of hyperbole on both sides.”
“I think there’s a lot of stress in society and anxiety in society, and I think you see extremist groups on steroids at this time. So, there’s a lot of rhetoric, a lot of hyperbole. I like to stick with facts and evidence and numbers to make decisions,” Governor Cuomo said.
Several prominent New York State Democrats including Congressman Chuck Rangel, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Governor Cuomo’s predecessor, David Paterson, have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street protests.