Spitzer Vetoes Bill to Gut Welfare Reform

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has vetoed a bill that would gut New York State’s modest welfare reforms by giving welfare mothers an excuse to avoid working if they can’t obtain well-paying “non-traditional” jobs with wages that exceed what many working people currently receive.

New York State has, in the eyes of many independent observers, the worst state legislature in America. That is confirmed by the fact that both houses of the legislature — the Democrat-controlled Assembly, and the GOP-led Senate — voted unanimously for this awful bill. That means they will probably override Spitzer’s common-sense veto. (The GOP-led Senate also voted unanimously to override former Republican Governor George Pataki’s veto of a tax increase several years ago).

Both the Democratic leaders of the state Assembly and the “moderate” GOP leaders of the state Senate are bought and paid for by labor unions that hate welfare reform.

Thanks to absurd union demands, New York State’s healthcare system is grossly wasteful and inefficient, and pervaded by Medicaid fraud. Its per capita spending on Medicaid for just its low-income residents is similar to what France spends for health care for all its citizens (and life expectancy is longer in France).

CEI has often criticized Eliot Spitzer. When he was New York’s attorney general, it ranked him #3 on its list of The Nation’s Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General, a rating CEI justified with an extensive analysis (including discussion of how he enriched trial lawyers at the expense of the rule of law — a vice he shares with leaders of New York State’s Assembly).

But compared to the thoroughly-rotten New York State legislature, Eliot Spitzer often looks pretty good.