One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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Government corruption increases as the size of government increases. The bigger the government’s checkbook and regulatory hammers – the more people will try to bribe politicians to direct where the checks and hammers fall.
This is cronyism. You contribute to politicians – and ask for government beneficial treatment. You want government to reward you – and punish your private sector competitors.
You get breaks from the pernicious laws and regulations imposed by government. Your competitors get laws and regulations that apply to them – but not to you.
And you get checks cut directly to you from government coffers.
All of which brings us to New York state.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: “The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.”
That is a very lofty goal. In fact, nigh unreachable: “As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”
That doesn’t sound like an increase in renewables that is likely to happen. But what is dead certain to occur? The new massive government spending in the attempt.
And with all of that new, huger government spending – comes a huge government tab. That’s where the new taxes come in: “(T)he Public Service Commission also included a new (energy) tax worth $8 billion.”
Get that? The unelected PSC unilaterally raised taxes by $8 billion – without any participation by the people’s elected officials in the state legislature. That’s not obnoxious at all. How very Barack Obama of them.
All of which is terrible news for everyday New Yorkers who, you know, use energy. And would like to have their elected officials participate in policy-making every now and again.
So New Yorkers have begun expressing their concern. Governor Cuomo and his bureaucrats – aren’t exactly concerned with their concerns: “Since the energy mandate was approved, Cuomo’s energy regulators have been dismissive of any cost concerns. PSC chair Audrey Zibelman has told members of the press that the energy mandate will actually benefit consumers.”
New Yorkers don’t really see these supposed benefits. What they do see – is the Cuomo Cronyism kicking in: “(D)ownstate energy consumers bore a disproportionate burden of the cost of state subsidies that will support three upstate nuclear power plants.”
Wait – who?: “(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.”
Great news – for Cuomo Crony Exelon. And oh – it appears they’re a little behind with Uncle Sam: “(T)he company, Exelon, that owns two (and soon to be all three) of New York’s nuclear power plants was just ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1.45 billion in back taxes.”
So New Yorkers are being forced to pay a brand new additional $8 billion in taxes. Taxes for which their elected officials never, ever voted – but are instead being slammed down upon them by unelected bureaucrats.
New Yorkers will watch their $8 billion go to Cuomo Crony Exelon – who will than use a huge portion of it to pay off an outstanding IRS tax bill.
All in pursuit of a “green energy” fantasy that will never, ever come true.
This works just fine for Governor Cuomo – because he gets exactly what he wants. Bigger government – and the bigger cronyism that comes along with it.
Does it work for regular citizen New Yorkers? Not so much.
Because cronyism never, ever works for regular citizens.
[Originally Published at RedState]