What are the liberals saying about Gov. Cuomo’s budget?

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget address is winning accolades from North Country lawmakers, with Republican state Senator Betty Little praising the plan and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward sounding cautiously enthusiastic.

But liberals groups are angry about this Democratic governor’s approach to closing the $10 billion dollar deficit.

The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Frank Mauro zings the Governor for cutting K-12 funding, and for failing to boost taxes on the state’s wealthiest citizens.

“While the Governor talks about bring all stakeholders to the table,” Mauro said, “he should be sure to invite New York’s wealthiest, particularly those benefiting from the resurgence on Wall Street.”

FPI argues that “the richest one percent of New Yorkers now receive 35 percent of all income in the state, while they pay a lower state and local tax burden than middle- and low-income state residents.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Coalition for Economic Justice accuses Cuomo of using an axe rather than a scalpel as he cuts the deficit.

“The majority of New Yorkers support extending the income tax surcharge on the richest New Yorkers, which would raise $4.6 billion in revenues this year alone,” said executive director Allison Duwe.

“The state and local tax burden of the poorest 20% of New Yorkers is double that of the richest 1% of New Yorkers. Our inequitable tax system perpetuates the most severe income disparity in the nation. Meanwhile, deep cuts in education and healthcare spending hits working and middle class families the hardest.”

Matt Ryan, head of NY Jobs With Justice, questions the governor’s economic plan, which envisions the creation of new regional economic development initiatives.

“While other areas of the budget are being cut,” Ryan said in a statement, “Cuomo plans to increase spending and reduce accountability for the new and unproven Excelsior jobs program. At the same time, he proposes to create another layer of administration in the form of Regional Economic Development Councils, which will give $130 million in grants to businesses this year.”

Ryan argues that laying off as many as 10,000 state workers could cripple the state’s economic recovery.

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12 Comments on “What are the liberals saying about Gov. Cuomo’s budget?”

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  1. scratchy says:

    These “advocates” are entitled to their own opinion, but arent entitled to their own facts.

    Allison Duwe of Coalition for Economic Justice- “economic justice” is code for socialism, by the way, said, “The majority of New Yorkers support extending the income tax surcharge on the richest New Yorkers, which would raise $4.6 billion in revenues this year alone.”

    That simply is not the case. The tax doesn’t expire until the end of this calender year, meaning that it’s already bringing in revenue for this year. While the fiscal year extends through April 1, extending the tax through next year would onl raise revenues for the months of January, February, and March. Moreover, many of the millionares are small business owners who only pay at the end of the year or indivioduals who receive large end of year bonuses. So the amount raised by extending the tax will probably be well under 1/4 of 4.6 billion – and that’s not even considering the negative impact from people leaving the state to escape the tax. Those so called “advocates” quoted above don’t have a clue and the reason we’re in this situation is because they’ve been running things for far too long. The more they howl about this budget, the better I feel about the budget.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    Pass the budget as is. I don’t care what liberals, Democrats, conservatives or Republicans say or think. Ditto for all the special interest groups.
    Pass ethics reform.
    I have zero interest in anyone who says, “But not this. We need this. We need to spend more here.”
    Get lost.

  3. DBW says:

    Brian –

    The budget discussion may be shaped most by what the average citizen thinks.

    While we all know that a poll is a snapshot at a particular moment. Check out the Quinnipiac poll from last week at:


    Briefly, 79-18 oppose cuts to public education
    69-28 oppose medicare cuts

    Of course, they don’t want more taxes either to maintain the services.

    First off, there is a real disconnect in the public mind. Keep services, but don’t want to pay for them.

    Next, the cornerstone of Cuomo’s budget are changes in funding in both Medicare and school aid. He told legislators that the public was behind them. As of now, it doesn’t appear that way.

    The governor’s narrative was compelling esp. for native New Yorkers who grew up in the Empire State. Patterson has the begrudging respect of about 20% of voters. Cuomo may remain more popular personally, but not be able to develop general support for his agenda.

  4. scratchy says:

    Ah, but I bet most people assume that a “cut” means spending less year than last year and not just reducing the rate of spending growth.

  5. DBW says:

    We don’t know that. We just have to go with what we have for now.

  6. Bret4207 says:

    But Pete, doesn’t that go against your support of that $30m that benefits Hamilton Co?

    The cuts are going to hurt everyone across the board. It’s simply time to pay the piper. My paycheck just took another $30.00 hit for more health insurance costs. That’s just the start.

  7. Pete Klein says:

    Bret, you are talking apples and oranges. What has been budgeted and then spent is beyond discussion, unless you want to cry over spilt milk.
    And so did my health insurance cost go up.
    Speaking of health insurance. Wouldn’t it be nice if the government came out with a price list showing the wholesale and average retail of all legal drugs? This would allow you to know just how much you are being screwed by the drug stores and the insurance companies.

  8. Pete Klein says:

    One more thing about drugs. I’d like to see the drug companies be required to show the country of manufacture on the drugs.

  9. john says:

    The point that North COuntry school superintendents are making is valid. The state appellate court decided several years ago that New York City Schools had been disproportionally harmed by uneven funding for many years and were owed a great deal of back-payment in state aid. North country public schools were originally part of the plaintiff group in that law suit because, on paper, many north country public schools look very much like schools in the South Bronx. A deal was made to leave upstate schools out of the final decision.
    If schools are to see funding reductions, the cuts should at least be fair and proportional throughout the state. The assumption that north country schools have fund balances to offset reductions is false. School fund balances are limited to 4% of their total budget. The scale of economics between large districts downstate and the small districts of the north country means that there is little help to our schools from fund balances. Our schools will be disproportionally harmed. This needs to be addressed in any final plan or it’s just going to continue a long history of unfairness to small, poor, north country schools that don’t have a tax base to turn to.

  10. Pete Klein says:

    I would be careful about complaining too much in the Adirondacks where the so called official state aid is not all that much but where the state aid in the form of property taxes is higher than the state aid and is a form of state aid.
    Remember. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  11. Bret4207 says:

    Sorry Pete, but how can you be for it and against it? Only John Kerry has that ability. The same argument you would use to support that $30M will be used by everyone else for their pet projects. You either believe in fiscal responsibility or you don’t.

  12. oa says:

    “Allison Duwe of Coalition for Economic Justice- “economic justice” is code for socialism, by the way”
    That’s why it’s a good thing that her remarks are in very small type, so as not to foment the socialist revolution.

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