budgeting has got us worried and his PR operation needs some help.
Paterson has announced big cuts for local governments due to the state
budget crunch. Mind you, some question how much of a crunch we are in.
But either way, Paterson is talking about whacking $250 million in aid
to cities, towns and villages, along with counties.
Which is likely to mean chaos on some levels: Many cities have already
adopted their budgets. Local governments are also dealing with huge
increases in fuel costs, health care costs and other price hikes.
Cutting revenues out of already adopted budgets or shifting costs to
counties that already struggle with mandates is real bad news.
Real bad news, in particular, for Democrats, who told everyone in 2006
they would be bringing new prosperity to the state. Remember, Day One,
Everything Changes? Now it's all been revealed as a hollow sham. The
Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal knocked the Democrat reform
movement off its feet, and the Paterson budget blow-up is the nail in
the coffin for any claims Democrats have to being the good guys.
Right now, Democrats are pitted against the unions, against taxpayers,
against local elected officials from their own party and more fiscal
trouble is expected. Wait until the pink slips start flying, or the
aid checks getter lighter.
Hey, bad news is part of the game now for Democrats. But they should
learn how to deliver bad news. Calling a mayor, a Democrat
nonetheless, while his city is being flooded and telling him he is
losing state aid just isn't good form.