To the Editor: I must suppress my giggle over a "28-year retired DOT employee," Joseph Cannisi (Oct. 16 letter) complaining about a letter in the Chief from Usher Piller (Oct. 9 issue) regarding the Trump presidency.
The issue was the state Deficit and Mr. Cannisi, as a former political appointee of NYC DOT, should know better. The massive and growing state deficit started when Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor and his use of ACA to include the public option (Medicaid). This caused increased taxes and fees and a continuing exodus of state taxpayers.
Our Governor even allowed the health-insurance programs to self-certify Medicaid eligibility. The year before the economic effects of the pandemic hit NYS, the Cuomo budget deficit was already $14 billion and growing. As the taxpayers fled our state, Cuomo arranged to have them replaced with Public Charges.
When you are forced to close down a city due to a pandemic, there will be severe economic consequences. But to blame Trump for the Cuomo Debt is like standing at the Rockaway Beach shoreline and trying to push the waves back with your hands. Of course, NY must receive financial assistance from the Feds, but responsibility for the Cuomo budget games must be reviewed closely.
It is very difficult to understand our Teflon Governor. NYC was provided with a remarkable opportunity to have East Coast Amazon in Astoria. CB-1 actually supported the idea, but the idea that NYC would receive hundreds of high-paying jobs, significantly reducing the NYC and NYS budget deficits, was criticized by a first-term Congresswoman. Cuomo was silent and Amazon happily moved to D.C.
Cannisi should understand the frustrations of actual public-sector employees. Usher Piller and I have taken competitive civil-service examinations, lacking the benefit of partisan political intervention. I was actually a whistleblower providing exhibits of billions in Medicaid fraud because the state watchdog agency was filled with malfeasant Cuomo appointees The story was covered accurately in the Chief. I won and left the armpit of state government I was employed by.
Usher Piller as an NYC/NYS PEF Leader has continuously exposed Cuomo corruption that prevents public-sector workers who were appointed based on merit and fitness from doing their jobs, and not even getting contractual raises, yet Cuomo has hired many new staff members with five-figure salaries; even his speechwriters were placed in agencies while totally serving Cuomo.
Perhaps the delay in receiving Federal assistance is due to the various claims of Cuomo. The cruel scheme of placing nursing-home residents on Community Medicaid and then releasing the COVID-19 patients back to the nursing home, knowing that the outcome would probably be negative, instead of transferring those patients to the emergency hospital at the Javits Center, came from the Executive Chamber.
Of course, Federal assistance will come to New York State. The only question is, should it be confined specifically to the damage caused by the pandemic?
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