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Report: Barbara Lifton town hall in Newfield, Part 4

Fourth in a series

Part 1 on taxes is here

Part 2 on the economy and economic policy is here.

Part 3 on the NYS budget is here.

Governor Cuomo said, “You can never solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it.”  After listening to Assemblywoman Lifton, at her town meeting, she obviously is not heeding his words.

Education:

Before the current recession, there was great concern about the "Brain Drain"; college graduates were leaving NY for states where there were jobs.  The "Brain Drainapparently continues as Governor Cuomo has said, “New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation.  Our young people will not stay.”  Ms. Lifton’s economic strategy is to produce more, higher-level, college-degreed graduates. (Apparently, NY taxpayers need to fill a shortage in other states where jobs are growing.)

She also asserted that NYS employers were dying for college graduates as well as holders of advanced degrees.  (Other than a few specific areas, where does she get this idea?) 

Ms. Lifton lists energy costs and health care as the things driving up school budgets, but fails to mention teacher salaries and pension benefits as a primary cause (or that they are any cause at all). But every article on school budget increases mentions pension costs as a primary cause of school budget increases.  This definitely qualifies as not acknowledging a problem.

She says that private colleges get Bundy Aid to help aid the poor.  However, Bundy Aid is a flat payment to private colleges, per graduate.    Colleges also get Bundy Aid for out-of-state residents who graduate.  During the recent campaign debates, she said that it was important that NY taxpayers also subsidize foreign students in our colleges.  (There seems to be no end to the wonderful things she can do with other people’s money!) 

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