Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New York To Miss Budget Deadline Again

Even rarer than seeing an honest politician is that New York will complete an on-time budget.

Once again, New York will miss its mandated April 1 budget deadline. The state's elected leaders have managed to pass an on-time budget only 6 times since 1975. That means that the state incurs additional costs and localities have to borrow more money to carryover until the state budget is adopted. Even with these additional costs borne by all parties, the state still can't figure out how to pass an on-time budget, let alone one that is fiscally sound.

As a result of the budget problems, all state-construction projects are being shuttered because the state simply lacks the cash to make them happen until a new budget is passed. Projects that aren't funded by the federal stimulus package are being stopped until the budget is done.

There's no money.

Actually, even if a new budget is adopted, there's still no money. The state simply is spending far more money than it can reasonably expect to take in with tax revenues and fees. The state's spending is simply unsustainable and relies all too much on Wall Street for big money paydays.

It's past time to fix the state budget situation, and it goes beyond trying to switch the budget calendar from April 1 to July 1. It means passing a 2-year budget and making sure that if no budget is in place, spending would be cut 10% across the board until a budget is in place.

Penalizing the state legislature for failing to have an on-time budget hasn't worked. The fiscal penalties to the state haven't worked. The state's elected leaders have failed miserably for so long, that they've consigned themselves to continuing the failed fiscal policies and out-of-control spending.

Voters have to demand more of their elected leaders and send a message to Albany that they will not tolerate this gross incompetence because at the end of the day, their state's leaders have failed them.

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