The recently unveiled executive budget proposal should be no surprise to anyone who has lived in New York in the last decade. Spending is looking again to be record-setting, and the $216 billion proposal on the table would represent the largest in the history of the state if passed as it stands. As history has shown, that number could very well go up depending on the budget negotiations of a legislative Majority that has shown zero interest in fiscal prudence.
Gov. Hochul’s proposal ignores a self-imposed 2 percent spending cap the state had been previously operating under. It is also more than twice the spending plan proposed in Florida, which has more residents than New York, and is approaching California’s $286 billion plan. Keep in mind, California has almost twice as many people living there than New York.
Texas, which has close to 10 million more residents and crafts its spending plan over a two-year period, is proposing only $248 billion. What does this all add up to? Simply put, New York should not be in the same class of spending as a state with double its population and one that prepares its spending over a period twice as long. The governor’s proposed numbers are cartoonish.
The budget proposal before the Legislature does, though, rightfully includes investments in health care workforce, education and infrastructure. These are useful and necessary especially considering there are significant sums of money from the federal government included. However, this budget offers no direct answer to the worst inflation in four decades; accelerated income tax cuts will not go into effect until 2023. New Yorkers need relief now. Taxpayers need protection now.
Families across the state know they cannot simply throw unlimited sums of money at every issue under the sun and expect a favorable outcome. I hope the final product provides more restraint and protection for New Yorkers than the liberal Majorities have demonstrated in recent years. Case in point, last year’s executive budget started at $196 billion, and by the time progressives in the Legislature were done, taxpayers were asked to write a $212 billion check.
The fact remains, the cost of living here is unbearable, the business climate is toxic and our taxes and regulations are burdensome. This budget does not address any of these issues with direct action. It does not take a degree in finance to see the trajectory we are on is unsustainable.
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