Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Are Budget Cuts In New York?

Last year, the state increased spending by more than 8% (or $10+ billion) over the prior year, despite a serious recession and a stupendous drop in revenues from Wall Street, which is a major revenue source for New York. That irresponsible budget was $131.9 billion.

So, what did the New York legislature do when facing an even more dire fiscal picture?

They've promoted a $135.7 billion budget. So, they've increased spending by $3.8 billion.

That includes the elimination of the sales tax exemption on clothes under $110, tobacco and cigarette tax hikes, and other miscellaneous tax hikes.

For all the talk of spending cuts, no one can seriously represent that the state cut spending when its budget is again larger than the prior year. The budget included pension sweeteners, which undermine any kind of pension reform carried out earlier this year by introducing a new tier of pensioners for newer employees. Those pension costs will explode in coming years.

This is the shell game that the state repeatedly plays with voters, and it must end because the state simply can't afford these massive budgets in any form.

The budget produced by Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Sampson is grossly irresponsible and must be vetoed down to Gov. Paterson's proposals - even though that budget is still irresponsible and spends billions more than the state should objectively expect to take in revenues in the coming year. Spending should have been held to last year's budget and it should not count on federal funds being forthcoming.

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