Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Progressive Caucus Responds to Gov. Cuomo’s Budget: Watch that Axe! There are Some Cuts New Yorkers Can't Afford

Governor Cuomo’s budget chops at some trees without realizing that he’s damaging a forest. Income inequality is greater in New York than any other state in the country, and New Yorkers can’t afford the costs of the Governor and Legislature cutting education, health care, transit, human services and the other quality-of-life services we value and need. We need a judicious balance between New York’s short-term and long-term economic needs or we will have a far more serious problems than the budget itself.

The Progressive Caucus supports a budget that:

  • Requires shared sacrifices in difficult times. The Progressive Caucus and most New Yorkers support extending the existing income tax surcharge on those who can afford it, which is set to expire at the end of the year. The Progressive Caucus also proposes a tax surcharge on household income over $250,000, to reclaim the “Bush era tax cuts” for the wealthiest 2%. The Caucus plan would generate approximately $8.1 billion statewide, and use this revenue to restore vital services now proposed for deep cuts, address severe deficits facing New York City and New York State, and stimulate the New York economy.
  • Helps working families. We ask for budget solutions that create and secure job opportunities and benefits for New Yorkers, not eliminate them. We oppose MTA fare hikes and increases to other essential public services, which are tantamount to raising taxes on working families.
  • Invests in our future. We oppose the Governor’s Property Tax Cap of 2% a year because it will bleed the poorer districts where schools are already losing teachers and resources, further widening the education gap between New York’s rich and poor. We also support keeping our public university system affordable; CUNY, a once tuition-free institution, has faced multi-million dollar cuts and tuition could increase as much as 7% this calendar year.

The proposed chops to the budget don’t cut a clear path through the financial crisis. They leave us with more problems ahead. We are asking Governor Cuomo not to lose sight of the forest as he takes his axe to our trees.