Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New York Budget Situation Remains A Disaster

New York continues to be disgraced by its legislators, who once again kicked the issue of massive deficits into the future when it refused to deal with the latest deficit situation. New estimates figure that the deficit has grown by another $315 million, which is on top of the $9 billion deficit that incoming Governor Andrew Cuomo will have to deal with in short order.

The legislature claims that they didn't have sufficient time to study the issue, even though they were four months late in passing this mess of a budget and it was out of whack from the moment it was passed.

Mind you that the state passed a bloated budget four months late that was billions more than the previous budget, which itself was a vastly bloated disaster requiring tax hikes that didn't result in additional revenues as anticipated.

New York has been well outside its means for years on end and endless tax and fee hikes have not generated the anticipated revenues, which means that the budget deficits swell.

It is past time to rein in the spending and to make far more conservative estimates of revenues particularly at a time when consumer confidence is shot and people are looking to keep their own costs down. The state government must do the same - and must budget accordingly.

Deep and sometimes painful cuts will be necessary and that includes sharply cutting the size of the state bureaucracies and dealing with unfunded pension obligations - both by making sure that existing obligations are funded and limiting the number of people who will be put into the pension system. It means fighting the very unions that help elect the legislators and governor who fight health care and pension reform every step of the way since it means that the compensation packages are decreased. Simply put, the state can no longer afford the compensation packages it doles out and taxpayers simply aren't able to sustain the revenues necessary to carry state obligations.

It is a system that is collapsing on itself because no one in the legislature was willing or capable of standing up and demanding fiscal responsibility to keep the spending flat during a recession. The state instead spent wildly above and beyond what its taxpayers were able to afford, driving up deficits further.

This is an unsustainable situation and Gov. Cuomo will have to pick up the pieces and put both the legislature and state workforce on notice that serious changes will be forthcoming.

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