EDITORIAL: Around the state
Excerpts of editorial opinion from newspapers in New York:
The Daily Gazette of Schenectady on New York’s moratorium on issuing new commemorative license plates:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t resist doing a bit of grandstanding after the New York Giants’ Super Bowl win, immediately ordering the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a commemorative license plate in honor of the New Jersey-based team. And Assemblyman James Tedisco — himself a pretty polished grandstander — couldn’t resist the opportunity to criticize Cuomo in view of the state’s continued resistance to making a special license plate honoring the victims and rescue workers from 9/11. We can see Tedisco’s point.
Custom license plates, which cost up to $91.25 the first year and another $62.50 every year thereafter, are a lucrative revenue source for the state, which may be the real reason Cuomo decided it was worth tap-dancing around the moratorium. All told, the state rakes in $12.6 million a year from them — and it’s easy money.
That’s why Cuomo and anyone else responsible for the moratorium should drop their objections to “Choose Life” and any other messages or logos that special interest groups are willing to pay for. Politicized plates might be considered offensive by some people, but so, too, might Giants plates be by Patriots’ fans.
New York needs the money, and they’re just license plates.
Newsday on efforts to make money market funds safer for investors:
What does a money market fund have in common with a mattress? Both can hold your ready cash — and neither is as safe as it looks.
Your money market fund is more like a pair of stockings; one good run and it’s history. Continued...
If you think that possibility is remote, you have a short memory. In the financial crisis of 2008, the nation’s oldest money fund — the Reserve Primary Fund — couldn’t uphold the $1 per share valuation investors take for granted, triggering an avalanche of redemptions. The ensuing industry-wide panic was only halted when the Treasury guaranteed money fund accounts and the Federal Reserve provided loans.
Serious risks remain — which is why the Securities and Exchange Commission is putting the finishing touches on proposals to make the funds safer. Unfortunately, much of what can be done to lower risks will cost investors money by raising expenses and shrinking returns, which are already microscopic.
It’s imperative to reduce the risks anyway. The world needs the cash-parking function provided by money market funds, which are also handy for financing business. But it can’t live with the level of risk they pose to our economy.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on contraceptive coverage and religious organizations:
The recent dust-up over the Obama administration’s short-lived requirement that contraceptive coverage be provided to employees of religiously affiliated organizations was an unnecessary exercise that portrayed all parties in an unflattering light.
The administration suffered a self-inflicted black eye. The White House clearly did a poor job of explaining the provision ahead of time, let alone gathering support.
The Catholic Church was quick and effective in broadcasting both the proposed changes, and its opposition. Still, with a recent Guttmacher Institute report finding 98 percent of Catholic women said they have used birth control, the church’s campaign came in for criticism of its own.
The provision doesn’t go into effect until 2013, so there is time to work out further details. Still, they should have been worked out prior to the uproar. Obama’s compromise aimed to settle an argument that should have been avoided in the first place.
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