New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to sue the Biden administration unless it delivers on at least $15 billion in new federal aid:

Cuomo says if Biden and the Democratic-led Congress don’t come through with the full amount he is seeking, he will commence litigation. The lawsuit would focus on the governor’s grievances from the Trump Administration and Republicans who led the Senate during most of the pandemic.

Cuomo says New York is “unique in the nation” in the amount of economic loss it has sustained.

“The COVID assault on New York was caused by federal negligence,” Cuomo said. “And, second, New York was used as a political piñata.”

If the feds don’t come through with the full l$15 billion, then he says he will push through a tax hike that would result in New York having the highest tax rates in the country.

The Wall Street Journal writes the Empire state’s fiscal problems pre-date the pandemic, and are a result of budgetary recklessness in Albany that Cuomo is unwilling to correct:

New York had a roughly $6.1 billion budget gap this year before anyone had even heard of the novel coronavirus due to overspending on Medicaid and giveaways to unions. Lockdowns reduced sales tax revenue in the spring and summer, though November and December revenue was up year-over-year.

Revenue will recover faster the sooner New York returns to normal. The Governor’s slide-show this week estimated a current budget gap of $4.7 billion, down from $8 billion in the fall. Yet Mr. Cuomo is proposing to increase spending by 1.2% or about $1.5 billion—about as much as his tax hikes are estimated to raise. He’ll be lucky if they raise a fraction of that as more of the wealthy flee to lower-tax states.

In some quarters, and particularly among his own courtiers, Cuomo is a truth-teller, a leader, and perhaps a national treasure. The reality is he’s a second-generation would-be political boss who desperately needs a cash infusion to keep his operation afloat.

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