Before we start singing the praises of any governor’s political leadership – as Wanda appears to do for the gentleman in New York — we ought to provide an honest accounting of what such leaders have actually been up to. And while it is undoubtedly true the gentleman from New York has a sterling smile and a soothing tenor that calms our distressed hearts, behind his televised sentimentality is a man responsible for a failed state. Failure must never be subsidized.

The state of New York is a failure, much like its ideological brethren California, because state lawmakers and the governor act like the science of economics doesn’t exist. Instead of responsibly saving money for a cyclical economic crash in both states, for instance, lawmakers insist on squandering their funds. The most egregious example of this is how much lawmakers in these states squander on themselves. According to Ballotpedia California lawmakers make $110,459 and in New York they make $110,00. Both of these figures are the first and second highest in the nation. Instead of a bailout, why don’t these great and heroic lawmakers take a pay cut?

In another metric, the organization Tax Foundation finds New York and California rank 2nd and 3rd worst on their 2020 state business climate index. That’s a failure. Business provides people with the dignity of work and the opportunity for people to pursue work in the industries they truly love.

Pennsylvania isn’t far away from being a failed state like New York and California. Each year we spend approximately $300 million on tax giveaways for special interest groups like the horse racing and movie industries. Meanwhile, small businesses are going bankrupt. Is that admirable? If your answer is yes then I hope you’re willing to defend your answer to your neighbors in Potter County running small businesses. I hope you’re willing to explain to them why they should go bankrupt so Brad Pitt can receive our tax dollars to sip lattes in Pittsburgh.

Rejecting bailouts would provide an incentive to these states to address their overpaid lawmakers, terrible business climates and gluttonous budgets. And specifically by not receiving federal bailouts, states like ours would finally have the incentive to gut the waste and spend Pennsylvanians’ money responsibly. If spending money responsibly isn’t the job of a democratic government, then what is?

Zigmund Reichenbach is a leader of the Purple Zipper Conversations, where people from all political views come together and discuss a topic to learn from each other and find common ground. For more information, call Reichenbach at 814-203-7557.