With the budget deficit in the Empire State reaching crisis levels, Gov Paterson has proposed cuts. State Senate Dems, however, are lining up to oppose his proposal:
Take, for example, the joint statement issued over the weekend by Sens. Craig Johnson and Brian Foley of Long Island, Neil Breslin of Albany, Darrel Aubertine of Watertown, David Valesky of Syracuse and Antoine Thompson and Bill Stachowski of Buffalo.
These seven Democratic pols… declared that they cannot possibly go along with trimming education aid in the middle of the school year, as Gov. Paterson has proposed to help close a $3.2 billion deficit.
Nor do they like Paterson’s suggested cuts in Medicaid funding for hospitals and nursing homes, which they dismissed as “untenable.”
Nor do they support Paterson’s plan to raise money by forcing New Yorkers to buy new license plates.
Okay, now we know what they’re against. So what are they for? How, pray tell, do they propose to resolve a cash crunch so severe that the state might not be able to pay its bills next month?
They’ve got nothing.
I get that cuts to education and healthcare are not ideal. But when they make up over half of the state budget, where else do you go? How do you close a gaping hole of several billion dollars? Are you going to cut pay and benefits to state employees? Raise taxes (yet again), in a state where the property tax burden is already crushing the middle class?
If New York doesn’t want to end up like California or many other states who have seen their credit ratings go south, we need to take action now. Instead of issuing feel-good statements about protecting education and healthcare, Dems in Albany need to step up and start offering solutions. Otherwise, aren’t we just like the Party of No we deride all the time?