Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paterson Calls for Cuts (Yay!)

Cindy Johansen just forwarded this e-mail from Governor Paterson. Every New York City newspaper is calling for his resignation. But he is saying things that are almost reasonable. I very much doubt that either of the Republicrat candidates will call for cuts, even teensie weensie ones like Paterson is proposing. With Republicrats like Edward F. Cox and Andrew Cuomo we can count on an ever expanding Waste Mountain in Albany. My chief complaint about Paterson is that the cuts are way too small. There should be a 40% cut in Medicaid, 30% cut in education administration and a 15% across the board cut in state government operations. All "development" spending should be shut down because it does nothing. There should be a moratorium on state construction, repeal of the Wicks law, and review of salary structures of all construction work. Agencies doing construction should be consolidated. All health spending should be reviewed and programs adopted after 1990 terminated, especially those that have been created to institute make work for the Service Employees International Union.

>I have put forward a proposal that includes serious cuts across every area of State government. I am proposing $500 million in cuts to State Agencies, on top of the $1.5 billion in savings we have already achieved at State Agencies over the last two years. That is a total of $2 billion in savings from State Agencies. My proposal also includes a $1.1 billion year-to-year cut to school aid, and a nearly $1 billion cut to base health care spending – because these two areas of spending make up more than 50 percent of our State’s budget.

>Nobody wants to make the cuts that I have proposed – least of all me. I have already had to come up with spending reductions and new revenues to close $33 billion of deficits over the last two years. When we close the current-year deficit, I will have had to close more than $42 billion in total deficits, due to the weak economy.

>I know that many of my proposals are tough to swallow. They are tough, but they are necessary. Other states continue to struggle with the costs of delayed action – some have even had to cut their school week to four days. While I am always open to discussion and to compromise, I will not allow our State to go down that road. We must act responsibly to close our deficit. The fact is that any dollar that we do not cut from education or from health care must be matched by another dollar cut from somewhere else or raised by some other tax.

>We cannot spend what we do not have. Families across New York understand that. It is time that Albany gets with the program. State government needs to live within its means. The revenues that supported decades of overspending are gone. The mistakes of the past – squandering surpluses, papering over deficits, relying on irresponsible fiscal gimmicks to finance unsustainable spending increases – have led us to a financial breaking point.

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