Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Three Men and the Ruins

Democrats have wanted total control of state government for years, and they finally have it. And the result of that one-party is the most secretive state budget process in recent history, and probably the most expensive and destructive.

The Democrat budget disaster includes income tax hikes that will take billions out of the pockets of New Yorkers, tax and fee increases on a staggering array of goods and services and the end to the STAR Rebate program, which at least gave upstate taxpayers some relief. Unbelievably, the budget includes a spending increase of nearly 10 percent – during a recession and months of pronouncements by Democrat Governor David Paterson that now was the time to get state spending under control.

The budget really amounts to a Democratic smash and grab from state taxpayers, who already hold the unfortunate distinction of paying the highest taxes in the USA. There's a reason for that secrecy by Democrats – the 2009-2010 state budget is a rip-off of taxpayers who already are getting gouged and trying to cope with a tough recession. And remember, this is a budget that gets bucket loads of cash from Team Obama, cash that probably won't be available next year.

What's worse is that the budget really puts the screws to upstate with elimination of thingfs like STAR. Democrats are still assembling a package to bail out the Metropolitan Transit Authority – quick, name the upstate communities or organizations getting the bailout treatment from either the state or federal Democrats.

It's interesting to see that campaign pledges last as long with state Democrats as they do with the Council Democrats in Troy. Democrats in Troy had promised more openness, transparency and improved effectiveness, and the result has been 16 months of chaos, goofball attempts at intimidation, bungled bullying and a staggering lack of accomplishment. State Democrats promised more "sunlight" on state government but this week was using State Police to keep press from entering the State Capitol as the state budget was being concocted.

Local Democrats will have real trouble trying to claim the high ground on the tax issue as Democrat party bosses try to skin taxpayers alive and send millions and millions of our tax dollars to New York City. Already hobbled by a slow candidate selection process, poor fundraising and the probability of primaries in many areas, prospective Democrat candidates now have to ask why they would want to run in a year when their party is setting records for tax hikes.