Monday, March 28, 2011

Wheeling and dealing

The NYS Budget is in and though many are happy with it, it is a case of the politicians taking care of their own and ignoring many of the most vulnerable and powerless among us.

The governor allowed the legislature to restore some of the cuts to education, removed the medical malpractice suits limit and gave a tax break to those making over $200,000 a year. The winners are the teachers' unions and trial lawyers. The big losers are people with disabilities and the working poor. Cuts in Medicaid, Early Intervention and other programs will result in the loss of sevices and the loss of thousands of low-paying jobs. The loss of those jobs means more people on unemployment and public assistance and increased costs to the taxpayers.

Meanwhile the people making over $200,000 a year will get a tax cut. The powerful media commentators on the righ are calling this a refusal to raise taxes, and of course that is a lie. The tax was in place. This is a tax cut for the rich and powerful at a time when the state can least afford it.

The budget is done, now it is time to see if Cuomo and the Legislature deliver on their promises to redistrict fairly and pass meaningful ethics legislation. Don't hold your breath.

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