"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Monday, October 6, 2008

To Understand The State Finances

The article by E.J.McMahon in the Wall Street Journal is very good. (click here to read)

Read the entire article it is good, but here are some highlights:

Pataki, who just like Cuomo, spent too much and the legislature just piled more on. 
During Republican George Pataki's third and final term as governor, which ended in 2006, the "state funds" portion of the budget (the part that excludes federal aid) rose 19% when adjusted for inflation, including billions added by the state legislature over Gov. Pataki's vetoes.
Spitzer continued the glee of spending
But after campaigning on a pledge to control spending, Mr. Spitzer only made things worse by proposing or enacting 16% more in new spending, including a reckless promise of record school aid increases over four years
Paterson is more disciplined
But during his first five months in the governor's office, he has proved a surprisingly strong voice for fiscal responsibility.
What is next?
So now what? If the past is any guide, Mr. Paterson and the legislature will try muddling through the coming year with a combination of minimal spending restraint, debt-based fiscal gimmickry, fee hikes, and -- worst of all -- tax hikes, in a state saddled with the nation's heaviest per-capita state and local taxes, 60% above the national average.
Plenty of short-term savings would result from downsizing state agencies and selling or privatizing assets like ski areas and golf courses. But with nearly three quarters of his budget dedicated to Medicaid, public schools and other local assistance, Mr. Paterson can't begin to eliminate next year's gap merely by nibbling around the edges of state operations. The main targets are obvious: school aid, which would rise by $2 billion under the current spending formula; and Medicaid, projected to increase another $1.7 billion. A cap on school property taxes, which Mr. Paterson has supported, is more urgent than ever.
Issues like this are the important issues the campaigns for the 48th Senate and 118th Assembly should be addressing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We can't cut medicaid or teacher's union payouts. Can't be done, no matter the logic of such moves. And it doesn't matter how broke we are. Those people are too powerful. So, we will continue to spend more, tax more, and encourage more of our young people to leave. It's really a travel plan. We attract bums from all over the nation as we send our best away. In other words, we continue what we have been doing. The only safe folks have government jobs or work for a school.

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