Responsible economic development, not corporate welfare for a select few.

I applaud the Governor for his Regional Economic Development Councils, which have injected billions of dollars into the Upstate economy. On the other hand, I voted against both Governor Cuomo and Speaker Silver on the tax free zones.

“The tax free zones are a gimmick that will not produce sustained economic development. They have never succeeded in any place that has tried them.

Businesses leave when tax free policies expire. Furthermore, the tax free zones are unfair to local business. Businesses that have worked hard to build themselves from the ground up are discriminated against. So are our local citizens.

For example, an engineer living in Niskayuna working at GE will continue to pay full income taxes while an engineer who comes in from out of state, moves in next door, and works for a company in a tax free zone will pay none. That is just wrong.”

Phil believes in Keynesian economics championed by economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. Keynesian economics was put into place by Franklin D. Roosevelt and stabilized our economy for 50 years.

It was based on the principle that aggregate demand, roughly translated as raising the purchasing power of workers, is what really drives the economy forward, not Wall Street. When Wall Street was unleashed, it led to some initial gains but then nearly bankrupted the nation, just as occurred in 1929.

Without appropriate governmental intervention in the economy, there is an endless boom-bust cycle, which the middle class cannot withstand.

That is why Phil supports re-instituting the stock transfer tax which is presently rebated 100% to Wall Street and using the resultant billions in funding for much-needed infrastructure improvements, putting people to work. New York imposed this very small sales tax from 1915 to 1979 without any deleterious effects on the economy.

“This tax is like a flea on the back of an elephant. I do not think Wall Street needs government assistance and should pay sales tax like any other business. Wall Street has risen to unprecedented financial heights and needs to give back to the public.”

New Yorkers should not forget that it was a major infrastructure project, The Erie Canal, that built Upstate New York. Phil thinks we can do the same today.

“Making our infrastructure the best in the nation will attract business more than any tax free zones.”

The Nanotech center in Albany is a perfect example of this approach to economic development.