Edmund J. McMahon is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership. He is also president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc., an independent think tank based in Albany, NY.
McMahon writes on regional, state and local issues, recommending policy changes and reforms to increase economic growth. His recent work has included studies focused on New York's unsustainable public pension and retiree health care costs, the out-migration of New York residents to other states, and a "blueprint" for cutting and restructuring New York's deficit-ridden state budget. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron's, the Public Interest, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Newsday, and the New York Sun, among other publications.
McMahon's professional background includes more than twenty-five years as an Albany-based policy analyst and close observer of New York State government, working in both the private and public sectors. He served as deputy commissioner for tax policy analysis and counselor to the commissioner in the state Department of Taxation and Finance; director of minority staff for the state Assembly Ways and Means Committee; vice chancellor for external relations at the State University of New York; and director of research for the Public Policy Institute, research arm of The Business Council of New York State.
At the Public Policy Institute, McMahon's influential research included "The Zero Option," calling for a state employee pay freeze, which was subsequently imposed by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo in the early 1990s; and "Measuring Up In Our Schools," a 1989 study recommending a model school accountability report card later implemented by the state Department of Education. McMahon played the lead role in developing and drafting a historic personal income tax cut enacted under Gov. George Pataki in 1995, and served as an adviser to Pataki's budget transition team in late 1994. He also served on a Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) task force that recommended new disclosure requirements for derivatives and hedging instruments, which GASB adopted in 2007.
Earlier in his career, he was a staff writer and columnist for newspapers including the Albany Times Union and The Knickerbocker News. McMahon is a graduate of Villanova University.
New York Fiscal Watch Memos
- WNYC's "All Things Considered"
- WABC's "John Batchelor Show"
- Talk 1300's "Live from the State Capitol"
- WCNY's "Capitol Pressroom"
- NPR's "All Things Considered"
- Fox News's "Happening Now"
- YNN's "Capitol Tonight"
- FOX 5 "News at 6pm"
- WABC's "Up Close with Diana Williams"
- FOX 5's "Good Day New York"
[SORT BY CATEGORY] [SORT BY PUBLICATION TYPE]
- A Huge Loss For Greedy Tristate Unions, New York Post, 07-01-14
- Bill de Blasio Policies Will Cut Number Of Entry Jobs, AM-NY, 06-11-14
- Read The Fine Print Behind The UFT Contract Deal, AM-NY, 05-28-14
- Soaking The Rich Is A Shaky Strategy, Newsday, 02-05-14
- Overburdened by Taxes, The Epoch Times, 09-11-13
- Dems Want To Increase New York's Already Heavy Tax Burden, New York Post, 09-08-13
- Albany not helping NYC avoid fate of Detroit, AM-NY, 08-13-13
- Get a Handle on the City's Tax Policies, New York Times Room for Debate, 08-12-13
- Balancing Books: Spitzer's Weakness, New York Daily News, 07-09-13
- NYC's High Taxes Should Be A Top Mayoral Issue, AM-NY, 06-18-13
- Escaping ObamaCare: Silver Helps Some New Yorkers, New York Post, 06-12-13
- No, New York Beats California in Sprint to Last Place, Bloomberg, 06-11-13
- Will Cuomo Punt?, New York Post, 05-09-13
- Taxpayers Lose Big In Bills Deal, Albany Times Union, 04-02-13
- Quacks Like A Mess, New York Post, 04-01-13
- There They Go Again, New York Post, 03-18-13
- A Risky Budget Gimmick, New York Post, 03-11-13
- Koch as Remarkable, If Temporary, New York Savior, Bloomberg, 02-01-13
- A Threat to Pension Solvency, Albany Times Union, 01-29-13
- Gov's Hidden Perils: Dubious Details in New Budget, New York Post, 01-28-13
- More Articles >>
- Trends In Assistance And Dependency: Tracking Programs for New York City's Poor, 1956-2014 Civic Report 86, May 2014
- Pre-Retroactive Pay Raises Issue Brief 26, January 2014
- Iceberg Ahead ECNY Special Report, September 2012
- The Graying of the Empire State ECNY Research Bulletin, August 2012
- Measuring Average Public Pensions ECNY Research Bulletin, March 2012
- Optimal Option: SUNY's Personal Retirement Plan As a Model for Pension Reform ECNY Special Report, February 2012
- Outward Bound New Yorkers ECNY Research Bulletin, September 2011
- Empire State's Half-Century Exodus ECNY Research Bulletin, August 2011
- New York's Exploding Pension Costs ECNY Special Report, December 2010
- New York's 21st Century Job Slump ECNY Research Bulletin, September 2010
- School Staffs Grew in New York ECNY Research Bulletin, March 2010
- Blueprint for a Better Budget ECNY Special Report, January 2010
- Empire State Exodus ECNY Research Bulletin, October 2009
- Revenues Down, Spending Up ECNY Research Bulletin, September 2009
- High-Stakes Taxing ECNY Special Report, September 2008
- Taylor Made: The Cost and Consequences of New York's Public-Sector Labor Laws ECNY Special Report, October 2007
- Migrating New York Residents Still Heading for the Exits ECNY Research Bulletin, January 2007
- Government Workers in New York: Empire State's Favored Class? ECNY Research Bulletin, September 2006
- Defusing New York's Pension Bomb ECNY Special Report, June 2006
- Taxing and Spending in the Empire State: Overview of the 2006-07 Executive Budget ECNY Special Report, February 2006
- More Research >>
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee, 01-25-12
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the New York State Assembly, 03-01-11
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the New York State Senate, 02-17-11
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees, 02-14-11
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Senate Committee on Budget and Tax Reform, 11-24-10
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees, 02-11-10
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees, 02-03-09
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the New York City Council, 12-12-05
- Testimony of E.J. McMahon before the Joint Fiscal Committees of the New York State Legislature, 02-16-05
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Senate Commission on Corporations, Commissions and Authorities, 12-08-04
- Testimony of E.J. Mcmahon before the New York City Council Committee on Waterfronts, 03-04-04
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Senate Labor Committee, 10-15-03
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the Senate Democratic Task Force on legislative and Budgetary Reform, 06-09-03
- Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon before the New York City Council Subcommittee on Forecasting and Revenue, 04-01-02
City Journal articles
- Overburdened, Special Issue 2013
- Cuomos Pivot, Winter 2012
- Savior of the Empire State, 8 August 2011
- The Bucks Stop Here, Summer 2010
- Empire of Excess, Winter 2010
- An Outsourcing Opportunity, Special Issue 2009
- Tax High, People Fly, Special Issue 2009
- Defusing the Pension Bomb, Special Issue 2009
- The Budget New York Needs, Special Issue 2009
- New York States Fiscal Reckoning, Autumn 2008
- Rating Mayor Mike, Summer 2005
- New York Crime Hits a Tipping Point, Winter 2005
- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Summer 2004
- The Return of Dependency?, Winter 2004
- City Journal's Quality-of-Life Index, Summer 2003
- City Journal's Quality-of-Life Index, Summer 2002
- W.s Gift to New York, Spring 2001