The New York State Budget

31 Mar

Yesterday it was announced that Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Smith had reached an accord on a state budget. It raises spending while also raising taxes.

That is not the path that Albany should be going down. None of these alleged leaders has done a thing to change the three-men-in-a-room process. This would be completely within their power to do, and they know that public sentiment (among people who care or pay attention) is overwhelmingly in favor of rules changes.

From the Daily News:

Despite Paterson’s repeated warnings about the state’s fiscal crisis, total spending actually increases by $10.5 billion, or 8.7%, according to state leaders. The bulk of that, they say, is $7.2 billion in federal stimulus money that is required to be spent in the coming fiscal year.

The remainder includes $2 billion in spending cuts rejected by lawmakers as well as $1.3 billion in capital and debt service spending. Even without factoring in the stimulus money, state taxpayer-supported funding should grow by at least $800 million, Paterson’s office said.

Special interests and pet projects are well-represented. The people of the state of New York as a whole are not.

The proposed budget is as broken as the process that shat it out.

(Cartoon courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com)

15 Responses to “The New York State Budget”

  1. Derek J. Punaro March 31, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Even though it probably shouldn’t, it still surprises me the audacity of politicians – Patterson especially – going around yelling about how the sky is falling, and then continuing to INCREASE spending.

    Here’s my proposal – anyone elected to New York State office will receive a salary of 75% of whatever their last public-sector salary was. No more politician-only job hopping. No more guaranteed extravagant salaries. If your last real job was cashier at Tops, you’re in for a treat. These people apparently need some mental stimulus to remind them that decreased income = DECREASED spending.

  2. Prodigal-Son March 31, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    So the Dem’s take over Albany.

    Benefit: the budget is on time.

    Problem: it rapes NY worse than divided government ever used to.

    I had some small faint ray of hope previously that Paterson was going to actually restrain spending, and cut programs, because, duh, he said he would. Of all options, increasing spending by $10.5 billion was not one I considered. But this is NY.

    Some state’s will take Washington’s stimulus money and use it to balance the books. We increase taxes, and use the stimulus money for extra public sector add ons.

    Everyone that pushed for the Dems to take over both Houses last November – do you feel any sense of responsibility for this mess? How about those that supported Bill Stachowski, so we could have our senior voice in Albany? He’s voted party line to sell out WNY for the last 4 months – the NYPA vote being just the latest.

  3. pirate's code March 31, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    The New York State budget has been a bi-partisan mess for decades, and the 3-men-a-room secrecy existed long before Dick Cheney was anyone’s boogeyman (in reference to the cartoon).

    This year’s budget, however, raises (lowers?) Albany’s tone-deafness to a remarkably new level. It would appear that the current leadership is out to disprove the theory that you can’t tax yourself to prosperity.

    This isn’t necessarily about one party or the other. This isn’t about class warfare. And, clearly, this isn’t about the children, the poor or the sick (because, in the end, they too will pay). This is about the power structure in Albany (the 3 men, the lobbyists, the public sector unions) simply not giving a f*ck about what happens tomorrow, or anytime beyond the next election cycle.

    Why we continue to send the same asshats back to Albany time after time continues to baffle me.

  4. Mike Walsh March 31, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    @ pirate’s code:

    “Why we continue to send the same asshats back to Albany time after time continues to baffle me.”

    It baffles me, too, because the man on the street is always complaining about incumbents. So just who is voting them back in all the time?

  5. lulu March 31, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    It matters not whom we in WNY elect, as our representatives (incumbent or not, dem. or rep., male or female, orange or purple) will have no influence on the current power system (3 men in the room, the lobbyists or the public unions, etc.).

  6. Prodigal-Son March 31, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    @ Pirate’s Code: I agree that this is mostly about politcians not caring about the people, and only about funding their constituencies (unions, teachers, police, unions, healthcare and unions). So do you think it is coincidence that it is worse when all three men in the room are Dems? I am normally not a partisan, but it seems simple logic would lead you to believe uni-party rule is making it worse.

    @ Mike Walsh: Their REAL constituencies are voting for them – see my above comment.

    And before any pro-union folks hop on here, let me pre-empt by saying that NY now has the dubious distinction of being the most unionized state in the country. We also have the biggest laughing stock of a legislature, the second biggest budget deficit (behind CA), and a declining population. I see a direct line between all four facts.

    As Pundit correctly points out, why do we need a public sector union to protect state works from the people of the state. I heard a local rep for CSEA talk on WBEN last week. They said they refused concessions because Paterson should consider other measures to reduce the deficit: their two examples were raise taxes on the wealthy, and the bigger better bottle tax. But no cuts in benefits, no cuts in pay, and no cuts in the work force. I’m glad they are sharing the sacrifices of the Great Recession.

  7. Mike Walsh March 31, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    @:Prodigal-Son:

    “Their REAL constituencies are voting for them”

    No doubt. Their voter turnout rate is probably double that of the rest.

  8. mike March 31, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    How much lower can the state or Niagara Falls sink? From yesterday’s Buffalo news Real Estate transactions: • Monroe Ave., Rebecca D. Hudson; Michael M. Hudson to Martha Deeter; Eileen M. Carter, $34,900. Even Hudson is giving up!! Maybe he’s moving to Clarence, guess the weather got warmer and all the porch monkeys came out of winter sleep.

  9. lefty March 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    You can not blame this on the Dems. If it the Republicans were in control you could not blame them either. NYS is not about two political parties. It is about the 3 men, the lobbyists, the public sector unions v. the taxpayer. It is as simple as that.

    The sad thing is their is no realistic solution in sight.

  10. Wheels Goinroun March 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    As a PEF member, I can’t believe the union was willing to give up NOTHING. Pass on the raise, stand firm on lag pay, give up the Tier 5 or 6 or whatever it was, but at least compromise. Paterson is clearly not interested in getting elected. Kind of reminds me of the actions of another person in recent history that was in the final term of the most godawful administration ever and didn’t really care what anyone thought. How soon can we set Paterson up with a hooker?

  11. hank March 31, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    It is about the 3 men, the lobbyists, the public sector unions v. the taxpayer. It is as simple as that.

    Pretty Much! But the loss of several hundred thousand manufacturing jobs, many of them in CNY and WNY as a result of the extortionary tactics of private sector unions contributed to this as well. The only difference is the state has laws to protect the public sector unions. Private sector jobs disappear and the union extortionists slink away.

    Keep Clinging to those Unions!!! Breadlines forming near you!

  12. BuffaloShark March 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    bohica

  13. Starbuck March 31, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    If one of the 3 men in the room was John Faso, this deal wouldn’t have happened. Taxes and spending would have reduced, or there would have been no deal yesterday.

    However based on his 30% vote share in Nov 2006, I doubt most NYS-ers would have preferred that outcome over this one that happened.

    Recent statewide public opinion polls showed majority support for exactly the major results that Paterson, Silver, and Smith produced: big tax hike on upper incomes, no cuts to education spending, no real cuts to health care spending.

    The public might not say they like this budget, but polls said they do favor those major components of it.

  14. Thinkin Dave March 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    The New York State budget is an old York state budget

    WHAT A DESPICABLE DISPLAY OF ARROGANCE!!!!!!!!

    I will not vote for an incumbent again – no matter what!

    We get no representation and the liars in Albany laugh in our faces with this ridiculous budget. That is, by the way, the definition of tyranny.

    We need all new blood in our state capital and we have to remake our state constitution. What ever happened to the old idea of Upper York, the idea of us forming a 51st state? Something has to be done – we are really in trouble!

  15. TheRover April 2, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    The trash heap in Albany long ago rigged districts to all but guarantee reelections, so for all practical purposes your vote doesn’t count. The only things Albany listens to are lobbyists, money, as in who gives it to them, and, to a lesser degree, lawsuits. I feel that until the smaller gov’t/smaller budget advocates can group together and fight the same kind of fight the big spender pummel us with, nothing will change.

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