Sunday, December 02, 2007

Stealth Budgeting

We think it was Nixon who announced, while running for President in ’68, that he had a “secret plan” to end the Vietnam War.

Democrats in the County Legislature have apparently stolen a page from Tricky Dick’s playbook. Last week, they announced in a press release they had a plan to erase a small tax increase in the 2008 county budget. But a few days later, when challenged to provide specifics, they admitted they had nothing to present. Nada, zip, zero, zilch. An account of the meeting was detailed in The Record.

Democrats say they will be submitting a “plan” for consideration; but the budget vote is scheduled for Monday, which means any Dem plan that is submitted could not be reviewed by the public, and more importantly, not reviewed by budget staff. So much for openness and accountability. Which demonstrates pretty clearly that even the Dems aren’t serious about their plan.

The suggestion by Republican lawmakers that Democrats are trying to cover up the tremendous cost to county taxpayers from unfunded state mandates seems on the money. The 2008 budget is crippled by state mandates, with nearly 90 cents of every county tax dollar going to pay for mandates. That’s right, those are the same mandates Gov. Spitzer said he would deal with but so far, has come up with nothing. Nothing, just like county Dems and their “plan”.

Third Strike

Speaking of the Gov: Jeez, even the New York Times is piling on The Steamroller. Hot on the heels of the blasts on the Gov by two national magazines, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, the hometown paper for liberal Dems takes a swipe in their Sunday editions. [NYT]

“There are governors who have seen their popularity decline in the first year because they achieved something,” said Richard Norton Smith, a biographer of two New York governors, Thomas E. Dewey and Nelson A. Rockefeller. “With Spitzer, it seems like he’s walked into buzz-saws of his own devising.”