Commentary & Opinion

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 Washington Examiner, 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.

Single-payer Not Health Care Panacea

California’s Senate just passed a single-payer health care system. Great headline for progressives. Buried was the fact that the system would bankrupt the state, with a cost of $400 billion that eclipses the entire state budget of $180 billion.

Ways to Combat MS13 Gang

Local governments must join forces with the Feds to help cripple the MS 13 scourge.

The Left’s Hypocrisy in Claiming Voter Fraud

There was nothing wrong with our lever machines. They worked perfectly well for a century. They were cheap, reliable and, most importantly, were unhackable.

Underfunded Pension Systems Are Starting to Collapse

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.

If You Want to End Gerrymandering, Look to the Supreme Court and the Judiciary

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.

Flow of minors across southern Border fuels MS-13

To combat MS-13 gang, end the unaccompanied minors immigration program.

How is getting publicly available voter info an invasion of privacy?

There doesn’t have to be millions of voter fraud cases to establish fraud as a major concern. Tell the candidate who lost by five votes that the ten contested votes casted in that race were insignificant.

SUNY Seats Should be Prioritized for New York Students over Foreigners 

Our kids are finding it tougher to get into our state financed colleges, in part, because they are now competing to the greater extent ever with foreign students for limited coveted seats.

It’s Time to End Step Increases for Long Island Political Appointees

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…

Sanctuary Cities are Illegal and Contribute to Crime

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.

Coddling  Violent Illegal Aliens Contributed to Islip MS-13 Murders

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.

Why the Infamous United Passenger Should have Followed the Police’s Orders

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.

Should Voters OK Referendum for a NY Constitutional Convention?

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.

It’s Called Tax Creep

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.

Rising Utility Rates Show System Rigged Against Rate Payers

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?

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Unions to Lobby Against Taxpayers?

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?

 

Let Suffolk Deputies Do Police Work

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.

A Tale of Two Nuke Bailouts

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.

Stingy PBA Arbitrators Give Store Away Elsewhere

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.

Phony Answers on Property Taxes

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.

The Public Sector: Where Management Negotiates Against Itself

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.

Is America Heading Toward Path of Greece?

The America that was once the most productive, innovative, and upwardly mobile nation on earth is morphing into a dependency state just like Greece.

Huge LIRR Pay Hikes Should Be No Surprise  July 25, 2015

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.

Albany Must Eliminate Overtime From Pensions

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.

Battle the union, but support our cops

Many believe that battling with overbearing police unions makes one anti-cop. Not so.

Levy: Government’s hot topics

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.

Levy: Tax rebates hinge on consolidation

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.

The Danger of Biased, Agenda Driven Journalism 

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.

Victories a Warning to Weak Leaders

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.

Mixed Bag On November’s Referenda

The referenda on the ballot in November are a mixed bag. Some deserve a yes vote but others must go down.

Police in Missouri in No-Win Situation

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.

BOCES Reform Long Overdue
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Taxpayer dollars are being wasted through an archaic state reimbursement system utilized for school district purchases through the BOCES purchasing consortium.  We at the Center for Cost Effective Government, with the help of State Senator Phil Boyle, are aiming to do better.
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Malala should be Person of the Year and GOP should take note
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This column votes for 16-year-old Pakistani youngster Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for advocating for the education of young women in the third world, as not only the most influential news-maker of 2013, but the most noble and courageous as well.  The GOP would be wise to adopt a similar stance.
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Suffolk’s Being Robbed
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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.

ID Needed for Golf But Not Voting

Opponents say showing ID is simply too burdensome… yet we require an ID to obtain a library card, or to obtain social services.

Is Pre-K worth the investment? March 19, 2014

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.

Now is the Time to Get LIRR Concessions March 19, 2014

Everyone wants to avoid a strike at the Long Island Rail Road.

If not the $200k cop, what will spur change? March 19, 2014

What will it take for officials to finally do something to curb law enforcement salaries on Long Island, now hovering around $200,000?

Give workers a break on Thanksgiving November 24, 2013

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.

On Healthcare: Be careful what you wish for, Republicans November 13, 2013

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.

Pension Debate on WLIW October 30, 2013

Center Director Steve Levy in a debate about the need for pension reform.

Center for Cost Effective Government’s Testimony at Senate Local Government Committee September 30, 2013

Will other Governments go the way of Detroit? Steve Levy explains how Detroit’s collapse can be avoided elsewhere.

Conservatives Should Support Living Wage Increase August 29, 2013

A more decent wage for hardworking manual laborers will hit the sweet spot for most centrists and conservatives, i.e., providing incentive to work.

Startling Statistics of National Trends August 2, 2013

Some food for thought published in the Long Island Business News.

Mandatory Arbitration August 26, 2013

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

Some profiling is just common sense August 15, 2013

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.

The Left Wants Free Speech for All — Except Minority Conservatives August 8, 2013

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.

On Illegal Immigration: More E-Verify, Less Amnesty July 10, 2013

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.

Infrastructure and Bill Maher’s Contradictions, Washington Times July 15, 2013

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.

Let’s Get a Real New York State Oversight Panel Nov 4, 2012

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.

Big Bird and Big Government Nov 4, 2012

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.

For GOP, Greece is the Word Nov 4, 2012

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.

State and Local Watch: PBA Contract Bad Deal for Taxpayers August 8, 2012

The ten year deal with Suffolk’s police union gives too much and gets too little in this time of fiscal austerity.

State and Local Watch: State Crushed Budgets  April 17, 2012

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.

State and Local Watch  April 9, 2012

Read about opening  the HOV lanes, New York’s tax increases, overblown deficit estimates, and consolidating districts

Considering the Last Two Presidential Primaries  March 22, 2012

The 2012 Republican Primary had both similarities and differences with the events that transpired during the ’08 Democratic primary.

State and Local Watch  March 19, 2012

Making police departments more efficient, the teacher evaluation distraction, promoting independent redistricting panels, and the politics of casinos.