Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Governor Blows It . . .

Ouch! Just as this conservative was starting to think that our unelected governor was turning out to be the best New York governor since . . . . well . . . before Nelson Rockefeller, he blows it with his proposed budget. . .

  • A new, additional 18 percent sales tax on non-diet soft drinks to combat obesity
  • imposing a sales tax on cable and satellite TV/Radio services
  • taxing personal services, such as barbering, massages, and hair salons
  • permanently increasing the assessment on utility companies from 1/3 of one percent to one percent of gross intrastate revenues plus an additional one percent temporary surcharge on those revenue
These will hit everyone, but will be especially hurtful to the little guy. 18% tax on non-diet soda to reduce obeisity? Won't that increase the cancer rate from artificial sweetners? Come on . . . This will hurt small bottlers like McRaith in NY Mills and even Saranac. . . . and may even harm our health. And why take away a bit of pleasure from someone? A glass of soda and cable TV shows may be the only things some people can afford to enjoy in this godforsaken state. And taxing barbering? . . how many of these small business people will be put out of a job? And more taxes on electricity? We're already highest in electric rates in the country after Hawaii. Do you want to drive out ALL jobs?

We all understand the fiscal crisis, but New York's outrageous spending is what got us into this mess . . . and its the spending that's got to go.

NO MORE TAXES . . . CUT MORE SPENDING.

Cut the huge education building program completely. Cut all "economic development" programs completely. Cut all overtime completely.

New York's fiscal woes need strong medicine . . . but the medicine needed is more cuts, not more taxes.

9 comments:

UticaSux said...

God we love you and need you Stike! You make us look like the angry, ranting goons but hey if that's the price we pay for your commentary and instruction/info... sobeit I'll take more!

Anonymous said...

Damn, I am starting to really hate this state.
Two things I still enjoy that is a stones throw away... is getting a razor to my head for a high-and-tight, and my monthly appointment with my massage therapist (too many knots in my back from sitting at my computer bashing Utica to bits...)
Not to mention it's a pain trying to find a good barber... They're shutting down (the barbers are dying from old age) and hair salons can't use razors (electric or blade).

I can't wait for them to tax boots and parking spaces in state parks... because I really hate [the suggestion for] hiking. Thats another thought... why not tax outdoor activities... I mean they're already hiking taxes... so why not tax hiking? I'd like people to shut up about "go hiking! go hiking! it's fun!"

Greens and Beans said...

Come on Strike, cut spending? Don’t you understand that, here in the Empire State, pork barrel rules! How dare you speak the blasphemy of suggesting that New York State government should live within its means? Face it. Education, particularly in Utica – with the Utica School district granting their attorney a 48% pay raise – will effortlessly be able to absorb a State Ed revenue sharing cut. (http://www.uticaod.com/education/x1720694642/48-percent-raise-for-Utica-school-attorney) Then on top of this, rehire Superintendent Marilyn Skermont as a consultant after she retires in January 2009. (http://www.uticaod.com/homepage/x1435862726/Retiring-superintendent-to-stay-on-as-consultant ) She has never seen any taxpayer money she couldn’t squander.

Adding more taxes is where it’s at. Adding a tax to non-diet soft drinks is just a start. What about non-light beer, sugar and cream coffee and tea, candy, sugarcoated beer nuts, buttered popcorn, pork rinds, chips, pizza, pasta and perhaps eventually all deep fried foods? Then overlook the fact that the Governor wants to tax gym memberships. He’ll tax the fat and then tax the workout to trim it off. You got it right! Tax it on and tax it off!

It’s true! Liberals never have seen a tax they didn’t love. Will the last one out of New York State please turn the lights off? Somehow, he’ll find a way on how to tax that too!

ensoniqsq2 said...

Next we'll just make it illegal to move out of New York. That'll solve the problem with people moving away to escape the high taxes and ridiculous fees. We'll all be stuck here FOREVER!!! Muwahahahaha!

onjeesun said...

There is a lot of fat to be cut if you know where to look. Depending on what part of the state one works for, in many cases OT is unavoidable and in fact mandated in order to maintain a predetermined minimum staffing for safety issues etc. It can save the state money vs hiring additional employees that would also get benefits and retirement and so on. It is also the employees at the bottom that feel the cuts the most. They certainly could cut a lot of the high end employees and see little if any difference in day to day operations. There are a great many upper level State big wigs who spend a large portion of their time justifying the need for the jobs they themselves hold.

The other place for cuts is in budgets. Most devisions of the State are given annual budgets and they just devide by 12 to make monthly tracking easier. These budgets are a joke. Most supervisors will purposely spend more than they are alloted just so it seems like they need more than they are getting and to justify receiving an increase the following year. Come March (the last month in the states fiscal year), there is a scramble to spend any monies that would otherwise be left-over. There is an assumption that if you don't spend it all then you don't need it and they will cut your budget for the following year. If they were made to justify their spending on a regular basis instead of using outdated over-inflated budgets, they could reverse this trend with little if any oversight. Common sense needs to prevail. Run the State like you would run a business and we could get this house back in order. If you owned a store and you were losing money, raising your prices would not work.You would just end up selling less, losing more money and eventually losing all of you customers.

Greens and Beans said...

I agree with onjeesun.

Most State government managers feel the need to spend down their budget sector allotments for fear that any unspent portions will be cut out of next year’s departmental appropriations. This practice would work except for the fact that the eliminated allotment(s) are never actually cut. They are added to another sector of the same department somewhere else. By “somewhere else” I am referring to another state hospital, prison, barrack, departmental region or facility etc. All budgetary savings should be remitted to the general fund for elimination in the next fiscal year’s (FY) budget.

Another aspect that begs for serious attention is the fashion of which the budget is adopted from year to year. At the present time department managers use the previous FY budget as a template to project the following year’s spending. All too often they simply add anywhere from 5% or 10% to the last FY’s budget allocation. Then they dream up some sort of logical explanation to justify the additional spending. This practice should be eliminated. This is extremely wasteful. Every government manager, who is responsible for their portion of a departmental budget, should utilize zero based budgeting practices. As cumbersome as it may seem, it would compel every aspect of the budget process to start from scratch in terms of forcing the managers to take a critical look at their spending practices before the first dollar is allocated and subsequently spent.

These are good fiscal practices, but they both require expertise and good old fashion hard work. For most managers in government service, this level of budgetary expertise is all but nonexistent. They simply lack the proper training and competent oversight to be able to accomplish this task. Therefore, in order to be able to exhibit any semblance of having made the precise surgical budgetary cuts needed to achieve the necessary savings with minimal governmental disputation, they simply turn to the easiest place to show any savings. They opt to cut the workforce starting with the employees at the bottom who perform the most productive work. Unfortunately this is where society feels the impact the most. Too many NYS departments resemble an inverted triangle when it comes to the ratio of managers to productive workers. This needs to be corrected NOW.

onjeesun said...

Greens and Beans hit the flaw in the budget cutting plan right on. The way things work right now, any savings from budgetary cuts or savings in one area are just slid into another area to cover some other costs. This system actually rewards those that don't even try to spend wisely by taking the money other departments didn't spend and using to cover others who are over budget. The incentive for those trying to spend prudently erodes as they see their savings used to fund the overspending done in some other section, and eventually they give in and play the game themselves. The higher up you go on a state level, the less they are aware of this day to day stuff. From a spending standpoint it is perceived as being money from the same pants just a different pocket. If budgets had to be justified from dollar one, we could stop this costly use it or lose it tradition. The savings statewide would be tremendous.

Anonymous said...

@Ensoniqsq2:

ORRRR.... that doesn't really raise revenue... how about "taxing" people a dollar per pound of cargo you carry in your vehicle if you cross a county border??? That way if you drive a truck of your house-crap across any county line, you'll have to pay thousands of dollars each time!
This way we can pay for the fraud-friendly hospitalization policies for the chronically unemployed! :) YAY! I knew there was a way to benefit from the flight of the decent!

Anonymous said...

"NO MORE TAXES . . . CUT MORE SPENDING."

Hmmm ... if you go head-to-head with Patterson next time, you'll get my vote.