Republicans Vote "No" On New York's Budget
Where were the fiscally prudent Republicans when they were in charge of spending?
It wasn't all that long ago when the GOP controlled both the Governor's seat and the Senate in New York State; when two of the "three men in a room" -- the fellas who determined how much of our tax dollars would be spent, and on what -- were Republicans.
They spent New Yorkers' money as if it grew on trees, while, at the same time, they failed utterly to either curb spending or address the concerns that, inevitably, consume tax dollars much like termites consume the wooden foundation of a house.
Recently, constituents of Senator Dean Skelos, the Senate's Minority Leader, received an e-mail (republished below) detailing how the recently-adopted New York budget fails the people of New York. [Be reminded that it was only last year that Senator Skelos was the Majority Leader, albeit his tenure, upon the resignation of Joe Bruno (also a Republican), was relatively brief.]
The subject line read, Senator Skelos votes "no" on State Budget.
The Senator calls the budget process the most secretive in recent years (as if there was a distinction to be made between "secret" and "more secret"), a demonstration of "arrogance" by the top three Dems, and the resulting budget, one that "cripples the residents of Long Island by imposing increased taxes, decreased aid to education, decreases (in) the healthcare accessability, raised insurance premiums, and impos(ing) other tax(es) and fee increases."
In many respects, Senator Skelos is absolutely correct.
The budget fails us in terms of aid to education, both secondary and higher. The budget short-changes health care, the environment, and community services. The hot-button issues -- those that cost us millions of dollars in the short-run, and prosperity in the long haul -- property taxes, unfunded mandates, energy initiatives, special district reform, putting the lid on state spending (to name but a few), all fell by the wayside.
True, the STAR rebate is gone. Good riddance to it. We all saw it for what it really was, anyway. Putting a check in one pocket with the right hand, while picking the other pocket with the left hand.
For all of Senator Skelos' righteous indignation -- and he is 100% right to be indignant -- is the failure of the Democrats in Albany to do right by New Yorkers really any different than the shortcomings of the GOP when they held the reins?
Tell us. What really has changed in Albany, other than a few seats, and the right -- executed with juvenile aplomb -- to squabble over office space and who gets how much of that coveted member item money?
The Dems may hold court for now, but there has been no seismic shift in either policy or spending. Indeed, old habits don't just die hard, they live on, partying through the cold Albany night, until every last taxpayer dollar -- and even those of our grandchildren -- have been spent.
There are answers and remedies, ladies and gentlemen. Spend that money as if it were your own. Tackle the issues that New Yorkers have been clamoring about going on decades. And do a little more -- okay, a lot more -- than to simply point fingers and to just say "no!"
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A Message from Senator Dean G. Skelos:
This year's budget negotiation process has been the most secretive negotiations in recent history. The failure to include the press and the public in this process has lead to a disastrous and irresponsible New York State Budget. This budget has increased the State's spending more than in any time in the history of New York during a time when people are struggling due to the economic crisis in our state and nation.
I, along with my colleagues in the Republican Conference, have offered amendments to this budget that would help rather than hurt the already struggling citizens of New York weather this economic crisis. These amendments unfortunately have fallen on deaf ears and were rejected by the current Democratic Senate Majority.
These amendments include:
· Reinstatement of the much needed STAR Rebate checks
· Eliminate the unfair Tax Increases
· Increase affordability and access to Higher Education
· Protection of our Environment
· Placing a Cap on state spending
· Protect the Middle-Class citizens of New York
· Lower the astronomical Energy Costs
· Creating Mandate Relief for our local school districts
This year's State Budget is the example of one party rule and shows the arrogance of the three Democrats from New York City negotiating how to spending our hard earned tax dollars. This Budget cripples the residents of Long Island by imposing increased taxes, decreased aid to education, decreases the healthcare accessability, raised insurance premiums, and imposed other tax and fee increases. In addition there is not a single provision to create jobs here on Long Island or anywhere across the state. This is wrong for the taxpayers and wrong for New York.
For more information please visit my website at www.senatordeanskelos.org .