Governor Cuomo Won't Play Supercommittee Blame Game

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

Governor Cuomo dodged repeated attempts to get him to pin responsibility for the failure of the supercommittee on President Obama this morning on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From the State Capitol.” The governor has said the automatic cuts triggered by yesterday’s collapse of the bipartisan Congressional debt reduction committee will cost New York billions, but he doesn’t lay blame on his fellow Democrat in the White House.

“If you want to start pointing fingers,” Governor Cuomo said, “You’re going to need both hands in this case. It is a governmental failure.” Governor Cuomo called the supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement a “terrible blow” that would affect the economy and the citizenry’s faith in their elected officials.

“There’s also a confidence deficit, and a trust deficit and this supercommittee failure reinforces all of it,” Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo reiterated his belief the supercommittee failure will have a major impact on the New York state budget. The governor expects cuts triggered by the supercommittee to cost the state at least $5 billion, but with markets taking a hard hit from the news New York is also set to lose tax revenues from Wall Street.

“This was the last thing we needed,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is going to continue to hurt the New York economy and hurt our collections now towards the end of the year.”

Mr. Dicker spent much of the airtime he shared with Governor Cuomo trying to get the Democrat to blame President Obama for his inability to orchestrate a deal to reduce the national debt without the harsh automatic cuts caused by the supercommittee failure. He cited statements Mayor Bloomberg’s made yesterday that “it’s the chief executive’s job to bring people together and to provide leadership in difficult situations.” Governor Cuomo repeatedly said responsibility should be shared by Congress.

“It was just  failure for government writ large,” Governor Cuomo said. “This was a failure for the Senate, the House, the President and the people. The government failed.”

He avoided specifically criticizing the president, but Governor Cuomo was willing to point out what he sees as the flawed logic of Republican members of the supercommittee who refused deals that included higher tax rates for the wealthy.

“I would love to see a study that shows the effect of the drop in the market yesterday on those high income earners they were looking to protect,” Governor Cuomo said. “It would not be unreasonable to think those high income earners lost more money in the drop yesterday than they would have paid in the taxes.”

Governor Cuomo explained that he thinks trying to point fingers at this stage is counterproductive.

“There will be a grew discussion about allocation of blame and the elections may turn on that discussion,” Governor Cuomo said. “Today, as we sit here, that conversation only further exacerbates the problem.”

Mr. Dicker continued bating Governor Cuomo to blame the president by asking him if he, as the state’s chief executive, could ultimately take credit for New York’s recent budget deals. Governor Cuomo avoided that trap by being especially magnanimous toward leaders of the state Legislature–Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, for their role in budget talks.

“I didn’t force a deal, you cant force a deal. Look, Sheldon Silver could have said in the last budget, ‘I have a difference of opinion on taxation policy … therefore I’m going to refuse to move forward. Senator Skelos could have said, ‘I disagree on marriage equality and, because I disagree, it won’t come to a vote.’ … That’s not the posture they adopted. They expressed their opinions, but they were reasonable,” Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo said we might be able to solve the nation’s economic problems if the elected officials in Washington shared the enlightened attitudes of their counterparts in Albany.

“The solution is stop the extremism and let’s try some reasonableness,” Governor Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo Won't Play Supercommittee Blame Game