The libertarian Cato Institute has released its “Freedom in the 50 States” Report; Governor Kathy Hochul’s Empire State is dead last and was found to be the least free state in the nation.
“New York has been the least free state in the country for a long time,” the study said.
“Economic freedom is the most significant weakness, but the state has not kept up with the rest of the country on personal freedom either.”
From The New York Post:
The report suggests New York cut taxes, pay down its debts and slash spending.
It also calls for the Empire State to abolish its popular rent control law.
“New York’s local tax burden is twice that of the average state: 8.5 percent of income in FY 2015,” the study found. “This is a dramatic rise from the early 2000s, when it was 7 percent.”
The report also slammed New York City and New York state for a lack of “school choice,” even though both allowed charter school expansions.
The study gave New York props for below-average incarceration rates and taking steps toward legalizing marijuana, including its limited medical marijuana program.
But it also found that “tobacco freedom is the worst in the country because of smoking bans and stratospheric taxes ($4.30 a pack in 2015 dollars in 2016),” which the report later described as “so high as to be almost tantamount to prohibition.”
High cigarette taxes and a smoking ban were signature health policies of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who backed the policies as a way to reduce disease and improve the health of residents.
More over at The New York Post:
“I’m shocked” said no one in New York. The disaster that is one party rule in New York has made our state less free, less prosperous, and less safe. It’s why we lead the nation in all the worst categories. It has to change. https://t.co/GMfAfROIzL
— Mike Lawler (@lawler4ny) November 20, 2023