New York is in an awful hole. Years of overspending coupled with a shortsighted reliance on Wall Street revenues has led to New York’s penury.
‘Puter’s no liberal Democrat, but he must respectfully concede that Gov. Paterson has successfully identified and stated for all to hear the problem. New York spends too much, taxes too much, and is now spending more than it can take in. However, Gov. Paterson’s new budget does not address the root of the problem. Spending actually increases 1.1% over last year’s budget (if cuts to the current year are included, spending decreases 0.5%). Real, meaningful cuts are necessary. Here’s some freebies.
Paterson’s budget proposes to set up a new pension tier, rather than calling on amending the Constitution to permit the government to amend all its pension tiers. Under New York’s bizarre pension law (and Constitutional amendment), the state cannot take away pension benefits once offered, it can only add to them for existing employees. ‘Puter’s not advocating changing the pensions of current retirees, but it is fair to change the pension deal current employees have on a forward going basis. That is, New York should be able to say to its employees, you get to keep the benefits you’ve already accrued, but you’re moving into a defined contribution plan going forward. No more defined benefit plans. So, if an employee has already garnered full pension benefits, she gets to keep them. If not, she keeps what she has (20 years, etc.), and then the state starts kicking in to a 403(b) for them. Welcome to the real world.
Also, Paterson should be cutting government employees. He mentions “rightsizing,” but this appears to be a smokescreen, as the jobs he proposes to cut will be destroyed through attrition. Paterson should tell everyone whose job can be automated that they should start looking for work. This is a surprising number of people in many departments. New York has done a lousy job of using internet services for government transactions. See, e.g., the secretary of state’s division of corporations. Paterson should also identify critical government functions and non-critical functions, and start laying off non-critical workers.
No one wants to cut health care and education. But how can you balance a budget if you effectively declare two-thirds of it sacrosanct? Paterson can make the easy argument that it’s not debilitating to the poor to bring New York’s Medicaid benefits into line with California’s, which would be about a one-third cut. And for education, Paterson could take the appealing position that spending money on education is fine, but we need results, and the means to measure and incentivize the results. If as the unions claim, more money were the answer, every public school student in NYC would be geniuses. Insist on accountability for greater funding.
Paterson deserves immense credit for stating the truth. It’s a start. However, his budget should have put the truth into operation. ‘Puter will never have a socially conservative governor. It would be nice to have a fiscally conservative governor, though.
How about it, Dave?
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.