Now that the election is over, and the outcome is better than I could have hoped for, as a lefty liberal type, there’s a lot of work to be done. The NYS Legislature will be going into session on November 18th, to discuss mid-year budget cuts. Come April 1, 2009, there can be no deficit.
This article discusses those cuts. I was somewhat surprised that Paterson has suggested reopening labor contracts (to possibly put them “on hold,” I’m assuming), but then again I think it’s prudent to do so. While I would like to have my general salary increase, coupled with my performance advance, I can live without it. Though I’m relatively new to State service, I’m somewhat secure. Sure, a threat of layoffs is unsettling, however there are others who are in a lot more danger than I may be, and many of them need their jobs as much – if not more so – than I do. I’d rather not get my raise this year if it means everyone gets to keep their jobs. Then again, I realize that not everyone is that egalitarian.
Blame it on my lefty liberalism, fostered by my lefty liberal social worker mother.
Aside from all of that, some of the cuts I find to be a bit counterintuitive. For example, Paterson has announced that he will not raise taxes. Yet, he said he plans to cut education. Okay, so maybe you aren’t raising the State income tax, but that money has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is homeowners. A slight bump in income tax is a lot easier for most families to swallow than a jump in their property tax.
Some will tell you that this is all a result of government getting too big. I don’t think that’s true. I think, rather, it’s a result of the government not paring down in response to society changing. For example, the days of Willowbrook are no more. Large, State-run institutions for those in need have been replaced with outpatient care and community residencies. Government was far-reaching then because it needed to be, and in a sense it may still need to be. However, it’s not a hardship for a college student to travel four hours to campus, as opposed to one. The world is getting smaller, and government services have not adjusted in accordance. For years, this was still okay – but now it’s caught up with us.