Monday, December 15, 2008

2009 Budget Previews

The NY Daily News is reporting that based on the unveiling of Paterson's FY 2009 budget, New Yorkers are going to see a 15% obesity tax on drinks that aren't water, juice, diet soda, or milk; a return of the sales tax on clothing and shoes; a 3% cut in education spending; tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY ($620 and $600 per year respectively); approximately $3.5 billion in health care cuts; a proposed lifting of the gas tax increase cap; and a 30% increase in 30% welfare funding over the next three years. The health care cuts come on the heels of a Paterson proposal to eliminate fingerprint and face-to-face interview requirements for access to Medicaid.

So, Paterson plans to make it easier to get access to and easier to defraud Medicaid, but plans to decrease funding as Medicaid is a part of the healthcare spending drop. It shows where the priorities are of the Governor when he wants to cut education spending while increasing the welfare rolls. Does Governor Paterson not realize that with a better education people will be able to get better jobs and therefore the welfare rolls will, in turn, decrease? I understand 100% having to make spending cuts in a bad financial crisis - but perhaps learning where cuts are most reasonable (arts, legislative salaries/pensions) and where reforms are most needed (welfare, Medicaid).

In 2009 and 2010, New Yorkers can expect higher gas, clothing, beverage prices along with increased fraud in the Medicaid system and a weakened education system that will continue the drop from recent years. Thanks Governor Paterson.

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