The Most Mismanaged State
The nation's greatest city sits astride the nation's most mismanaged state. Their separate ways can be explained in one word... leadership, and I believe last week's budget proposals by Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Spitzer illuminate the way.
The mayor, sensing darker clouds on the horizon, has proposed a 4.2%
cut in the city's discretionary spending. He includes a property tax kickback (although a property tax rollback would be far, far better than a rebate), and he's proposing that his many city agencies tighten their belts a bit.
The governor, also viewing these very same troubling economic issues, says there's nothing much he can do but 'tax more and spend more'. Two years ago, of course, this candidate campaigned vigorously and spiritedly against Tom Suozzi in the primary and then against John Faso in the general election as a reform dynamo. Up and down the Hudson River and across this magnificent state's breadth, candidate Spitzer promised and proposed to cut property taxes, reform state agencies, reform the governance process and root out Albany's graft and corruption, saving tens of billions.
Last week, the governor proposed no property tax cuts, a 5% increase in state spending and assorted new fees and taxes to pay for them. 200,000 state workers, you know, are just not enough...he says he needs 1,800 more. The Governor proposes a $1 Billion Revitalization Plan for Upstate NY. Yeah sure, this money will be doled out by his hand-picked agency heads to incubate tremendous new businesses in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. Maybe the governor is unaware of the reckless and disastrous results of-governmentsponsored revitalization plans around the world.
To pay for all this and more, the governor proposes creative new taxes...a tax on crack-cocaine, health insurance and gasoline. Yep, you read that right...Governor Spitzer is proposing a crack-tax...I dunno, maybe some of Rockaway's and Brooklyn's residents will see great irony in this new tax. He proposes taxing health insurance...isn't health care unaffordable already for 42 million Americans. He proposes raising the gas-tax...$3.30 a gallon is not enough already. Finally, to increase his revenue stream, the governor proposes reformatting beautiful Belmont Park into a Bingo Parlor.
It's just more of the same 'tax and spend' and by the very man elected to reform Albany!!! With him - troubling horizons notwithstanding - our legislative reps (including Rockaways', I presume) seek a 21% to 24% pay-raise as part of the package.
The Mayor, like the Giants in the third quarter, is adjusting prudently; whereas our governor, with his 217 legionaries as complicitors, marches on... vociferously, vituperatively, and vindictively.