Budget Update

Reading Illuzzi this morning, I read that Makowski lifted a stay, which permits the legislature to cut from all county departments. Passafiume and Naples almost came to blows. (ugh). But then, scrolling down, there's a piece from Len Lenihan, our local Dem party chair. He argues that the legislators have to show leadership and come together to pass some sort of "revenue enhancement" (read: tax hike). He points to his own experience in 1984, when he hiked taxes. With all due respect to my party chair, it's not 1984. What was the sales tax in 1984, 6-something percent? 7-something? I have yet to hear why a shrinking county needs more money to provide services to fewer people. Or is it the people who are sick of paying the tax who are leaving, while those on "services" are staying or growing. Is that it? Maybe all the people voting via U-Haul should be an indication that something's wrong. New York has passed the tipping point on tax increases. It's a fad whose time has come and gone. With all due respect to Mr. Lenihan, the time to ask the taxpayers to solve this mess is over. It's time for the politicians to do their jobs - indeed, to lead. They have to go to Albany and demand relief from unfunded, inflexible mandates. Now, finally, we have the hand we need to go force Albany to pay attention. They have to cut where appropriate to balance out the budget. And why can't they cut from mandated programs? Are the numbers mandated? Anyway - my friend and President of the WNY Coalition for Progress, Mark Poloncarz, is a numbers guy. Maybe Mark can dumb all of this down for the innumerates like me so we know what's really going on? So we know what's cut-able and what's not?

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