Wealthy Inequality Forum at Caffé Lena on March 27th

“What Wealth Inequality Looks Like in Our Community,” an interactive program, will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at Caffé Lena, Phila Street, Saratoga Springs.

Please join the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Ron Deutsch and others in discussing issues like food insecurity, poverty, and the impact of the federal administration’s changes on New York.

For more information, see the event page on the Times Union.

Human Service Workers Renew Call for Wage Funding

March 14, 2018. The Fiscal Policy Instituted participated in a press event with the Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York coalition yesterday morning in the Capitol. The coalition represents more than 350 nonprofits organizations across New York seeking to adequately fund a higher minimum wage and cost-of-living pay adjustments for the state’s contracted human services employees. The press event revolved around the inaugural induction of 38 female human service sector workers into its “Human Services Hall of Fame” as well as pushing legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include these funding requests in his final budget. Over 80 percent of all human services workers are women, and almost half are women of color.

“Despite a majority having associate or bachelor’s degrees, nearly 60 percent of the human services workforce qualifies for public assistance,” said Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute Ron Deutsch.

“The governor has failed to deliver a cost of living increase to these workers for eight years and has chosen not to increase state contracts to reflect the rising minimum wage,” Deutsch said. “If he is serious about addressing the gender pay gap, he needs to start in his own backyard.”

The article in Politico New York.

John Kaehny and Ron Deutsch: Transparency for Subsidies the State Gives to Businesses

March 13, 2018. Activists are pushing for legislative action to bring more transparency to the subsidies that the State gives to businesses. We heard more on the push from Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and John Kaehny, Executive Director of Reinvent Albany.

Access to Podcast HERE.

Liberal Groups Call for Tax on Stock Buybacks

March 13, 2018. Liberal advocacy groups on Friday called for the passage of a tax on stock transfer buybacks, hoping to get the Republican-controlled Senate on board with a move they say would generate an extra $2 billion for the state.

“If you’re going to use your corporate tax cut — your 40 percent federal tax cut — to buyback stocks and enrich your company, rather than use that money to create jobs and increase worker pay, we think you should pay a small tax on that,” said Ron Deutsch of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

A stock buyback is when a company purchases its own shares. Advocates say taxing those transactions by a half percentage point could help the state pay for schools and affordable housing.

“All you need to do is pay a half a percent tax on those buybacks and give back a little back to the community,” Deutsch said, “so we can afford things like funding education, funding health care, helping the homeless and things of those nature.”

But some budget watchdogs warn the tax could have a detrimental impact.


Access to Full Article and Video HERE.


Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Visits Woodhaven and Speaks to Residents About the Trump Tax Law

March 6, 2018. On March 3, at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodhaven, a panel discussion that Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez hosted included Pelosi, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman Joe Crowley, Charles Khan from the Strong Economy for All Coalition, Jonas Shaende from the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Tracey Kavanagh, a registered nurse who serves on the board of directors of the New York State Nurses Association.

The tax bill signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, leads to automatic federal funding cuts of $400 billion over the next decade. In the fiscal year 2018, $136 billion of those cuts will come into play, and $25 billion is required to come from Medicare. Pelosi’s fundamental message to the audience was that these cuts, which also spread to public education, food stamps and public housing, do not resonate with American values.


Access Full Article HERE.

America’s Immigrants Are a Source of Strength, Dignity and Pride

February 26, 2018. In this article the author, Clarence Hightower, argues that immigrants are who made America what it is today. He discusses the present contributions of immigrants to the U.S. by citing research, including FPI’s, which shows that immigrants are highly educated, very likely to be business owners, are homeowners, and their children are less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. He goes on to draw attention to the demonizing actions and rhetoric from the federal administration surrounding the decisions to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the two government shutdowns. He continues his article by noting the historical relations with immigrants that have been the foundation for building America. These include Haitians leading the way to the Louisiana purchase, the exploited labor of slaves, and the appropriation of land from Mexico.

And, as President Barack Obama noted during a July 2012 naturalization ceremony, “The lesson of these last 236 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century.”

Research reflects this sentiment and reveals the extraordinary contributions that immigrants have made and continue to make in this country today. For example, the Small Business Administration finds that immigrants are significantly more likely to start their own business and create jobs for themselves and others. In fact, the Fiscal Policy Institute reports that immigrant-owned small businesses employ approximately 5 million people and contribute upwards of $800 billion to America’s economy.

And whether we are the descendants of slaves, indigenous tribes, immigrants or refugees, people from every corner of this earth have contributed to this nation. So it shouldn’t matter if one is from Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe or elsewhere, nor should it matter what one has when they arrive. For it is those who came to this land with nothing that made it into what it is today and who have the imagination to make America live out its original promise in the Declaration of Independence.

Here is the link to the Asian American Press.

My View: Let Lady Liberty’s words be our policy

February 23, 2018. In this op-ed the author, Sandy Mcpherson Carrubba Geary, discusses her view on immigration, which is that America should live up to its poem that is engraved on the Statue of Liberty and to continue to allow refugees and immigrants migrate to the United States. She goes on to discuss how her family sponsored a Vietnamese family who spent time in a refugee camp and that they became very successful in the U.S. Geary explains that their family moved to Texas and now owns a home, they learned English quickly, the father did not like accepting welfare in winter months due to job restrictions, and their children became professionals– one a doctor, one a nurse, and another who has a career in optometry. The author argues that banning families like this one from coming to America also cheats us of our creativity and economic growth.

The poem mounted on a bronze plaque proclaims, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Years ago, my husband belonged to an organization that promoted international relations and understanding. We enjoyed entertaining people from other countries in our home. We learned about their cultures and discovered our similarities.

It pains me to hear some political leaders demand America close her doors to those struggling to escape from war-torn homelands, many who could enrich us with their ideas, creativity and energy. Such policy cheats us of those who would add to our nation’s economic growth. Numerous immigrants become entrepreneurs. Nationally these business owners have added billions to the economy according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

I want to see Lady Liberty’s welcome mat remain. America needs newcomers.

Here is the link to The Buffalo News.

2018 State Budget Briefing in NYC

On Wednesday morning, February 28, 2018, the Fiscal Policy Institute will present its 28th annual budget briefing, co-sponsored by the Community Service Society, 633 Third Avenue – the forum will be held on the 16th floor in the Retro Report conference room. Light refreshments and check-in will begin at 9:00 a.m. Our presentation begins at 9:20 a.m. and ends at 10:30 a.m. We hope that you and/or your colleagues will be able to join us for what we are confident will be a useful and informative session You can RSVP online here.

The briefing will examine various aspects of the governor’s Executive Budget including such topics as:

  • Income inequality in New York State
  • Federal law changes and what they mean for New York State
  • Federal funding at risk
  • Austerity budgeting and impacts of the two percent state spending cap
  • Reimagining New York’s tax code – Conformity issues and workarounds regarding deductibility of state and local taxes
  • Raising revenue to address budget shortfalls and looming cuts from D.C.
  • Supporting New York’s immigrant communities: education, health care, the DREAM Act, and more
  • What are the glaring omissions in the issues being addressed?
  • Public policies to help lift New Yorkers out of poverty and to provide avenues for upward mobility, and to create more shared opportunities for all

If you have any questions about the February 28th briefing or about any budget or economic policy issues, please contact us by telephone at 518-786-3156 or by e-mail at info@fiscalpolicy.org. For more information on FPI and its work, and for copies of all of FPI’s publications, please visit our website at www.fiscalpolicy.org.


Please register by  Monday, February 26, 2018.

What’s Going On In Your District? The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Congressional District Fact Sheets Are Here!

February 16, 2018. The beginning of the Trump administration initiated a tremendous wave of attacks on government poverty alleviation programs and services like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). New York State has the highest income equality of all the fifty states with over 2.8 million people living in poverty. These programs and services provide immense relief for lower-income, working families and lift millions of children out of poverty.

The Congressional District Fact Sheets (CDFS) contain information about the importance of poverty alleviation and services in each of New York’s 27 congressional districts. The CDFS detail the number of constituents in each district that are enrolled in programs like Medicaid, SNAP, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing funds, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and also information about state and local taxes.

By: Melissa Krug

Ron Deutsch and Jonas Shaende: Analysis of the Governor’s Executive Budget

February 15, 2018. Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Jonas Shaende, Senior Budget & Policy Analyst at the Fiscal Policy Institute, shared their analysis of the Governor’s executive budget and their recommendations for a Shared Opportunity Agenda for New York.


Access Podcast Here