New York and Washington are trying to solve the same serious problem. Helping families and our nation recover from what's widely being called the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The conflicting approaches of President-elect Barack Obama and New York Gov. David Paterson matter because, when combined, the two plans would amount to little more than rearranging deck chairs. And the struggling American family won't be on the road to recovery; in fact, they may be sent on a costly detour.

In Washington, the stated approach of the new administration is to invest in the middle-class family; to ease their daily financial burden. It's an approach that clearly was embraced by a clear majority of voters this past fall.

But if governors, mayors and county executives deal with their parochial budget problems by raising the cost of everyday living on the average family, whatever investments and help Washington leaders deliver for families won't matter.

The actions of Obama and Paterson (or any other state/local leader) are intertwined. They're clinched together; one affecting the other, both affecting middle-class families.

That's why we need to watch all levels of government right now. We can't rally around Mr. Obama's economic stimulus plan, but ignore a state tax plan like New York's that raises taxes on families by $6 billion.

The math doesn't work. It's an overall loser for hard-working families, raising their cost of living and putting at risk their jobs. So we need to hold accountable leaders at all levels of government as we work together to recover from this harsh economy.

And, we continue to repeat the following quote here because our road to recovery must begin with this fundamental premise offered by Mr. Obama during the campaign:

"In an economy like this, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on the middle class."

Together, we need to make sure this happens at all levels of government.


Sip & Savor has dedicated most of this week to laying out some fundamental issues and facts about the economic recovery plans of our soon-to-be President and New York's Governor. They're illustrative of a major pratfall - the countervailing actions by federal and state/local government - that will result in a set-back rather than a stimulus to economic recovery. It's a perspective that is being missed by the mainstream media right now. But one that we ignore at our own peril.

On occasion, we'll dig deeper into current issues of relevance to this industry and its consumers, as we did this week with a focus on the impact of economic policies. Tomorrow, we'll get back to mixing things up and having some fun as well. Like the ABBA post from last Friday.