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07.01.2008 0

Onward, Into the Abyss!

  • On: 07/20/2008 14:34:03
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • What would you do if you were swimming, and suddenly you were swept under the waves? You’d probably try to swim back to the surface.

    In H.G. Wells’ classic story, “In the Abyss,” Elstead, a sailor, is the pilot of an experimental, spherical vehicle that is to be dropped to the bottom of the ocean to make observations. There, he is trapped by a mysterious race of beings that apparently worship his presence, until his vehicle is accidentally cut loose, and he is sent back to the surface. Convinced that he could succeed in his mission if improvements were made to the craft, he again braves the depths of the Abyss. But he never returns.

    And so it is with New York State. As the economy takes a downturn nationwide, the State is apparently convinced that it can avoid the depths by plunging further into them, increasing its budget by nearly 5 percent for 2008-09:

    “Despite mounting signs of a recession, state lawmakers Wednesday adopted a $121.7-billion budget that boosts spending above the inflation rate, with vast sums going to public schools, health care, colleges and business development.

    “The 2008-09 fiscal plan is 4.9 percent larger than this year’s, though, for the first time in a decade, spending will be less than what was originally proposed by a governor. Still, New York is growing expenditures while other states, such as New Jersey, Florida, Maine, Vermont and California, are cutting costs and threatening to fire state workers.

    “’They are spending at an unsustainable level and they know that full well,’ said E.J. McMahon of the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy. ‘This is excessive and irresponsible.’”

    Governor David Paterson acknowledged that present spending levels could not be sustained:

    “Paterson also said lawmakers, having recognized the tough economic times, were willing to consider his proposal to cut spending by 5 to 10 percent in 2009-10.”

    So, the Governor acknowledges that this year’s increase in spending will have to be rescinded – and then some – precisely because it is unsustainable. He also acknowledged that it will do nothing to improve the economy:

    “’Is this the answer to the economic problem? No,’ Paterson said of the new budget.”

    In addition to increases in spending, the new budget also calls for tax and fee increases totaling $1.5 billion. At a time of economic downturn, this is exactly the wrong prescription. When times get hard, in order to help an economy recover, governments should implement pro-growth policies which encourage business and jobs creation like less taxes, less regulations, and less spending.

    Instead, New York is plummeting further into the Abyss.

    ALG Perspective: New York lawmakers are following their typical modus operandi: to create dependency upon State intervention into the economy so as to assure incumbency of their seats of power. Big Government in New York, undeterred by troubling economic news, is braving the depths of the Abyss, perhaps hoping to find a new constituency of underwater beings that would prostrate themselves to the State. New Yorkers should take a close look at the waste that is occurring in Albany, and take corrective measures at the polls when they vote in November in favor of fiscal sanity.

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