Earth to Albany: You suck.

Hooray for us! We passed a budget on-time! We're reformed! We're not dysfunctional! It's reminiscent of a Chris Rock sketch about people wanting credit for stuff they're supposed to do: I take care of my kids! Whaddaya want, a cookie? Well, they did indeed pass an on-time budget for the first time in 20 years. But at what cost?
The Legislature on Thursday tossed aside two decades of partisan battling and public ridicule to enact an on-time budget that raises spending at twice the rate of inflation, sharply increases aid for schools, caps future Medicaid costs for counties and raises taxes and fees by more than $1.3 billion.
Sweet Jesus, we're the most highly-taxed state in the Union, and our legislature is INCREASING taxes and fees by a billion-plus dollars? Spending is raised at twice the rate of inflation? Are they KIDDING ME? Albany had better get its head out of its ass and look around. Look around at the rot. Look around and see the exodus; the brain drain. Look at cities and counties at or near insolvency; at or near the imposition of control boards. More taxes, more fees, more unfunded mandates, more reason for people and business to move or stay away. But they "cap" the counties' share of Medicaid, but only because that's been making headlines. Upstate is withering. Albany's quite evidently part of the problem. The slash & burn cutting of Erie County's budget because it was an emergency should serve as a wake-up call to Albany, but won't. Now is the time for Albany and other NY governments to review their entire operations with a critical eye, and start cutting the fat with a scalpel, before they have to cut meat & bone with an axe. But since only four entities run the show: Milquetoast Pataki, Spendthrift Silver, "What crisis?" Bruno, and the Gimme Lobbies, there won't be any real reform, there won't be any thoughtful analysis. Instead, they'll keep taxing and spending until there's no one left to tax.

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