New York Values
Having grown up in New York, I think I am qualified to comment on what has recently become a somewhat controversial issue. Earlier this week, in reference to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz said the following: “Donald comes from New York and he embodies New York values.” Without question, this was going to be a topic of discussion in last night’s Republican Presidential debate in Charleston. Cruz is a very intelligent debater and knew he would need to be prepared to defend his words. In an exchange with Trump during last evening’s debate, Cruz responded by saying, “Everybody understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal and pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, and focus on money and the media.” You know what? He’s absolutely correct and the truth hurts. However, anyone who doubted Trump’s ability as a debater were proven wrong. Trump successfully turned the tables on Cruz by altering the context of Cruz’s statement and diverting attention to September 11th. He closed this exchange by calling Cruz’s comment “insulting“.
But once again, Cruz was correct. New York State and the City of New York embrace and epitomize the liberal philosophy. In January 2014, NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo had plenty to say about conservatives in NY. He stated, “Their problem isn’t me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves.” He also went on to share his thoughts on how he would welcome conservatives in the State of New York: “Who are they? Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
In essence, Cuomo was telling us what he believes to be NY values. Based on his statements, NY values include being anti-gun and pro-abortion. When Ted Cruz made his initial comment regarding Donald Trump, at the very least he was referring to a 1999 television interview with Trump, where Trump proclaimed that he was “very pro-choice“. I don’t see anything wrong with what Cruz said, nor do I find any of it insulting to New Yorkers.
New York has some of the highest taxes, some of the strictest regulations, and some of the most ridiculous attempts at banning anything and everything than anyone else in the country. A few years ago, then NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to place a ban on the sale of “sugary drinks” that were greater than 16 ounces in size. Besides this NY value being an example of government trampling on liberty, it also defies logic as there was no proposed ban on refills on so-called “sugary drinks”. So you could not order a size larger than 16 ounces, but you could have as many of them as you wanted. Thankfully there are still a few judges left who are not ideologues and the ban was struck down.
In 2015, another ban went into effect in NYC . This ban was imposed on food containers which were made with expanded polystyrene. In short, this ban refers to styrofoam and some other plastic food containers. A NY Supreme Court Justice also struck down this law, citing, “the city’s (NYC) Department of Sanitation’s order to ban the items was arbitrary, capricious and irrational.”
Under Mayor Bloomberg, he enacted many bans which include such things as banning black roofs, cabs could not be a Nissan model NV200s, and commercial music could not be over 45 decibels. A complete list can be found here. Strict regulations in NY are a threat to a free market enterprise and individual liberty. These are anything but conservative values.
Bans are one thing, but I also referenced another NY value, high taxes. Do you remember Eric Garner? In the summer of 2014, Eric Garner was a black man who died at the hands of white NYPD officer during a take down in what some described as a choke hold. The tragic death of Eric Garner is best known as a racially charged incident between law enforcement and a presumably innocent black individual. But what the media never addressed was what led to this incident.
Garner was suspected of illegally selling “loosies”, which are individual cigarettes that come from packs which do not have tax stamps on them. Reportedly, a convenience store owner called the NYPD to inform them that Garner was outside his business engaging in the illegal sale of “loosies”. Store owners can’t compete with the black market sale of cigarettes because of the incredibly high taxes they must collect for both NY State and the City of NY. So it’s understandable why a store owner would not want someone outside their place of business selling “loosies”.
Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions, I’m not suggesting high taxes caused Garner’s death. But I can tell you that if taxes weren’t so ridiculously high, there wouldn’t be such a thing as a “loosie”. According to NY State’s official Department of Taxation and Finance website, “New York State imposes an excise tax on cigarettes at the rate of $4.35 per package of twenty cigarettes. New York City imposes a local excise tax at the rate of $1.50 per package of twenty cigarettes, bringing the combined tax rate in New York City to $5.85.” The taxes alone in NYC are higher than the cost of a pack of cigarettes in many states. With taxes, a single pack of cigarettes in NYC can cost anywhere from $12/pack and up. According to http://www.gumauctions.com/average-price-of-cigarettes/0/National-Average/ the national average price for a pack of cigarettes is $5.95, just $0.10 higher than the taxes alone that are imposed in NY. Take a look at the image below just to see how NY compares to the rest of the nation.
Dear New Yorkers,
Do not buy into the narrative that you should be insulted by Ted Cruz. These are the values Ted Cruz was referring to. What is insulting is not what Cruz said, but rather how your state government and city governments are treating you.