Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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Senators Meet For Weekly Policy Luncheons On Capitol Hill

Photo: Getty Images North America

 If it’s Monday, Chuck Schumer’s going to hold a press conference.


               Today, it’s something about semiconductors, and he’s scheduled to make stops in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.


               He and various Democrat lackeys will, as they routinely do, announce that happy days are here again and that some master stroke of government is about to turn our neck of the Rust Belt into an economic mecca. These announcements are made on a semi-regular basis.


               Think: Photonics, film hub, and nanotech.


               Seriously, Chuck Schumer and Kathy Hochul have saved upstate so many times it’s a wonder we still have the highest child poverty and move-out rates in the nation.


               At any rate, today Chuck will repeatedly pat himself on the back for getting Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse jointly designated as one of more than 30 potential federal “tech hubs.”


               What does it mean to be designated one of more than 30 potential federal “tech hubs?”


               Well, mostly that you have a Democrat senator and that that Democrat senator is going to hold a press conference.


               Also that happy days are here again.


               Beyond that, it’s a little uncertain.


               Each of these more than 30 potential tech hubs will have to make a presentation to the federal government about why it deserves a big chuck of welfare cheese. After these presentations, the federal government will select between five and 10 of these potential tech hubs to actually get a chunk of welfare cheese.


               That means that Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse have a one-in-six to one-in-three chance of being selected.


               And what does being selected mean?


               Well, if upstate is able to actually beat out other areas in the clamor for the government teat, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse together would collectively receive between fifty and seventy-five million dollars. That means, if divided equally, each city’s metro would get between sixteen and twenty-five million dollars.


               Of course, nobody should believe the money will be divided equally. If it’s divided by city population, Rochester would get three-quarters of what Buffalo gets and Syracuse would get half of what Buffalo gets. At $16 million, that works out to $7.1 million for Buffalo, $5.3 million for Rochester and $3.5 million for Syracuse. At $25 million, that’s $11.1 million for Buffalo, $8.3 for Rochester and $5.5 for Syracuse.


               Which is chump change.


               Not to be greedy when it comes to welfare money, but just last week the industrial development authority in Rochester gave out some $63 million to Coca-Cola to turn milk into expensive milk.


               In that context, this Schumer deal doesn’t seem to cast very much bread upon the waters – even if the region should defy the odds and be selected.


               But even if Chuck was passing out trillions, it wouldn’t work. Why? Because a free economy doesn’t work that way. And though Schumer and his Democrat friends are doing everything they can to make this a command economy, there’s still enough freedom out there to see them fail time after time after time.


               Government as a funder or partner in business always fails. Always. No exceptions. When the governor, the president, or the senator are making business deals, you can be certain those deals are suspect, if not dead on arrival. When the government subsidy goes away, the “economic development” collapses. The Democrat impulse to write a welfare check – to take money away from one person to give it to another person – is always wrong. And no amount of welfare can long sustain a business that is not borne of and embraced by the free market.


               And no venture unsubsidized by the government can long endure in the economic kill zone that is upstate New York. The workforce is decimated by a generation of outmigration of the working and Cadillac welfare payments to the non-working. The state features some of the highest tax burdens in the nation, suffocating laws and regulations, political tyranny by the majority party, staggering cost of government, and a spiral toward woke socialism that threatens everything from the quality of education to the ability to own a home, a car or a gas stove.


               There is no way a few million dollars changes that. In fact, it only makes it worse.


               Schumer’s money, if it comes through, will go to some Democrat-friendly non-profits and colleges, for “workforce development,” and maybe a company or two with the good sense to donate to the senator and the governor, and that will be it.




               If it’s Monday, Chuck Schumer’s going to hold a press conference.


               But he’s not going to say anything important.

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