Click here to preview Steve’s new book, Bias In The Media!
Steve Levy has been a regular contributor to the Washington Times and Long Island Business News. Steve’s articles have also appeared in The New York Post, Newsday, City and State Magazine, and Albany Times Union. Steve was the host of Speak Out Long Island, with Steve Levy on Long Island News Radio 103.9 (linewsradio.com). He is also a frequent political analyst for Hofstra University radio.
The partisan drawing of legislative districts, otherwise known as “gerrymandering,” must be stopped if we ever wish to reverse the awful political gridlock that has engulfed our nation. A recent court decision may help put us on that path.
Steps are additional salary increases that public employees receive every year in addition to their negotiated salaries. Union employees have had these steps built into their negotiated contracts. Traditionally, non-union political appointees never received these double raises. That changed a few years ago…
A federal judge in the left-leaning ninth circuit just put Trump Administration withholding of funds to sanctuary cities on hold. It was a brutally poor decision, both from a legal and public safety perspective.
Many articles and editorials, while decrying the violence, ignored the elephant in the room: the fact that this heightened gang violence in Suffolk coincided with the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America.
Call me a contrarian. I may be just one of a handful of people who believes that the individual forcibly removed from the infamous United Airlines flight should have followed the instructions of the police officers.
This November, one of the most important propositions of the last 20 years will be on the statewide ballot, and few, other than political insiders, are even aware of it.
Tax creep – the little here, little there tax increases that cumulatively can put homeowners over the edge. It’s how we’ve reached the point of near no return in New York when it comes to our confiscatory property taxes.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders coasted upon a big wave based on the theory that many of our institutions are rigged. But what could be more rigged than the rate-setting schemes for our utilities?
We as a nation are in so many ways better off for having unions to advocate on behalf of workers’ rights. But do taxpayers have an obligation to pay union leaders so they can be freed up from their regular jobs in order to lobby on behalf of the union?
There was nothing wrong with our lever machines. They worked perfectly well for a century. They were cheap, reliable and, most importantly, were unhackable.
Getting efficiencies out of the department is very difficult. Nevertheless, my administration was able to make substantial progress — though much of it has been reversed — by having civilians fill positions when possible, by scheduling more efficiently and by placing less expensive sheriff’s deputies on the highways.
It is the ultimate wake-up call for present and future pensioners in America: Three New York-based private sector defined-benefit pension programs cut payments to their retirees because they are running out of money.
Especially galling to Long Islanders is that while they will pay significantly to subsidize the upstate plants, they were required to fully bailout their own Shoreham plant with no assistance from any other taxpayer or ratepayer in other parts of the state.
Give underpaid New York City cops a decent bump, while holding the line on the Long Island salaries that are already in the stratosphere. Remove the Long Island provision that allows officers to cash out unused sick days and adopt the New York City rule that gives unlimited sick, where justified, without any cash outs.
While New York has made window-dressing attempts at pension reform, such as the new Tier 6 (which simply pushes out a retirement date from 62 to 63 years of age for new employees), state leaders made no effort to, for example, stop allowing overtime for current employees to be incorporated into a final pension benchmark.
Elected officials – who were supposed to be managers for the taxpayers’ money – are actually sitting at the negotiation table acting as advocates for the unions – who are supposed to be their adversaries.
The America that was once the most productive, innovative, and upwardly mobile nation on earth is morphing into a dependency state just like Greece.
Hearing that Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) workers saw a whopping 27% increase in their salaries (including back pay) was no surprise. It was laid out quite clearly by numerous commentators, including yours truly in a March 2014 LIBN article entitled: “Now is the time to get LIRR concessions.” The problem was that no one in power seemed to care.
Most folks I know were outraged to hear last month that a police official from a sleepy village in Nassau County was able to retire with a $1 million severance package. Unfortunately, few in Albany seem to care.
Many believe that battling with overbearing police unions makes one anti-cop. Not so.
Between the multiple about-faces on the merger of the comptroller’s and treasurer’s office, releasing criminal illegal immigrants, and giving money to firms moving out of the Island, Suffolk County’s governing authorities are damaging the island.
Taxing entities wishing to effectuate economies of scale can join together in a joint purchasing program. Instead of a village going out to bid for 50 desks unilaterally, it can bid with 10 other jurisdictions where 500 desks will be purchased.
As recent events illustrate, a left-leaning, bias in the media can distort the facts. Ultimately, the best way to ensure justice is through a media that is fair and accurate.
The victories of tough leaders like Scott Walker and Michael Fitzpatrick show that voters reward people who fight hard for them and make touch choices.
The referenda on the ballot in November are a mixed bag. Some deserve a yes vote but others must go down.
The Missouri police are stuck in a no-win situation: Confront the agitators and be labelled oppressors, or lay low and fail the citizens you were sworn to protect.
Both Nassau and Suffolk have elaborate bus and sewer systems. Nassau stands to tap millions in state aid for improvements to their systems, while Suffolk likely will not.
Opponents say showing ID is simply too burdensome… yet we require an ID to obtain a library card, or to obtain social services.
The President, Governor and Mayor have been tripping over themselves to prove they are more pro-child than the other by pushing for universal Pre-K. But did anyone examine if Pre-K even works? The evidence is inconclusive.
Everyone wants to avoid a strike at the Long Island Rail Road.
What will it take for officials to finally do something to curb law enforcement salaries on Long Island, now hovering around $200,000?
Years ago, just about everything other than gas stations and bakeries were closed on Thanksgiving. But a crack in the door was opened when some of the Big-Box retailers sought to get a leg up on the competition by opening for just a few hours on Thanksgiving. Now they are taking it to the next extreme.
Someone should remind Republicans trying to delay the implementation of ObamaCare of the saying ‘be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.’ Letting the plan go into effect was the wiser thing to do from both a political and policy perspective.
Center Director Steve Levy in a debate about the need for pension reform.
Will other Governments go the way of Detroit? Steve Levy explains how Detroit’s collapse can be avoided elsewhere.
A more decent wage for hardworking manual laborers will hit the sweet spot for most centrists and conservatives, i.e., providing incentive to work.
Some food for thought published in the Long Island Business News.
Sometimes, something is worse than nothing. Such is the case with the remarkably tepid changes that have been made by the State to the woefully expensive mandatory arbitration process. Published in the Albany Times Union
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial, the endless national conversation about race has turned to racial profiling. Profiling has been condemned as prejudicial, discriminatory and outright racist.
It is not that simple.
It has become common in this country to attempt to stifle the voices of African-American and Hispanic conservatives. Minority conservative voices come in for extra harsh abuse, as Justice Clarence Thomas did from the left-wing commentariat after he joined the Supreme Court’s majority in striking down a provision of the Voting Rights Act.
For months we have been hearing that there must be comprehensive immigration reform to fix the problem of illegal immigration in the U.S. Nonsense! The only thing broken about our immigration policy has been our collective cowardice as a nation to enforce our current immigration laws.
Anyone who watches HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” knows that Maher promotes a far left agenda, especially on the environment. That is why it was so odd to hear Maher ask rhetorically why the U.S. could not just get up off its duff and invest in massive infrastructure, as President Eisenhower did in constructing the inter-state highway system. Maher asked why, if we made investments of this magnitude back then, we couldn’t do it now? His answer is in the mirror.
If we want to help financially stressed localities and their taxpayers survive, let’s create the control boards that we need and give local administrators the tools they need to straighten out the mess that resulted from the nationwide recession.
There was talk about the President’s sluggishness and Romney’s vigor in the first debate, but some in the liberal media could not help themselves but to give equal time to a debate within a debate: the fate of Big Bird.
Recent polls have shown President Obama starting to create a soft cushion in his quest for reelection this November, but make no mistake, this race is far from over.
The ten year deal with Suffolk’s police union gives too much and gets too little in this time of fiscal austerity.
Local governments are hurting so badly due to state mandates that it is time for the states to grant authority to localities to freeze or modify some contractual provisions.
Read about opening the HOV lanes, New York’s tax increases, overblown deficit estimates, and consolidating districts
The 2012 Republican Primary had both similarities and differences with the events that transpired during the ’08 Democratic primary.
Making police departments more efficient, the teacher evaluation distraction, promoting independent redistricting panels, and the politics of casinos.