New York needs to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge -- one heavy enough to carry rail so that we can grow the population and keep our Congressional seats -- before the old bridge deteriorates beyond repair and takes billions of dollars of wasted maintenance money with it.
We've known this fact for a long time, four governors' worth. So why haven't we done it? Read the answer in today's Post:
"We're broke" has been the excuse for a while. But New York can afford a new Tappan Zee -- we're the fourth-richest state. Our tax burden is the nation's third-highest. The state will spend $93 billion this year, not counting federal resources.
But New York spends this cash on other stuff. Of that $93 billion, $19.5 billion will go to schools, $17.3 billion for Medicaid and $6.2 billion for public-employee benefits. Transportation infrastructure will get $2.8 billion (for a total of $3.6 billion, with federal grants).
[New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo should hammer this point home: Money that we spend on the past -- including pension and health benefits for people who still can retire in their 50s -- is money that we can't spend on the future.