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Throw em out ! - Redux

November 25, 2009 - John Stack
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about throwing out the New York State senators. If you recall, there was a surreal power struggle to see who would control New York’s senate. After the whole thing was settled, the senate – and even some political commentators said that the outcome was a good one. Now, the minority party would have more rights, bills would be passed easier, etc etc. In reality, many fewer bills were passed this year than ever before. The real problem is a ridiculous power struggle, and everyone wants to keep power. Any single senator could have crossed the line and ended the impasse immediately. This would have been in the public’s best interest. But, they were all afraid of their party bosses, their own power, committee assignments etc. The spoken reason for all of this was that the process trumps product. I believe I am like most people, in that I only care that things get done, I’m not concerned how its done. If the GOP somehow gets us out of our financial morass, YAY! I don’t democrat Caroline Maloney fixing it, I just want it done.
Back when I wrote the initial blog on this topic, I figured we were at the bottom of the barrel. Some of the sound bites coming out of Albany were downright ludicrous. I figured once some semblance of order was achieved, at least something would get done. Well, of course that hasn’t happened.
Both houses are now at it. In the spring, the Assembly could at least claim the high road, as there was no leadership problem there. That is not the case now. As Governor Paterson has been saying, we are about to run out of money. It is estimated that NY is 3 billion or more in the hole. Some politicos - Dem leader John Sampson and Republican leader Dean Skelos- have been claiming (seemingly as their heads continue to be stuck in the rabbit hole) that the finances are fine, and Paterson is acting like Henny Penny. Skelos wouldn’t believe in September the deficit was over 2 billion, let alone 3 billion. But, the world leader in credit market analysis, Moody’s, this week threatened to lower New York’s credit rating because of what they saw as a looming budget crisis.
The only person seemingly that cares if New York doesn’t run out of money, if the credit rating slips (costing NY even MORE money) and that people and agencies get paid on time is Gov Paterson. He called a number of special meetings of the legislature to try and force them to act on the budget. All the legislature seems to be able to do is tell Paterson how bad cuts will affect New Yorkers. Not that they MUST cut, and where it will be cut, but that the only cuts so far proposed can’t be done.
John Sampson made what amounts to the most outrageous claim of this session. Governor Paterson asked the legislature for special powers allowing him to make budget cuts himself. Sampson responded ‘   "This is what we were elected for,” and "We're not going to allow it." What was it he was elected for? To do nothing? To waste taxpayer time and money? Whatever he he was elected for, there is no way he nor the Senate is doing it. One of the conspirators in the Senate boondoggle this spring, Ruben Diaz said     ‘I am not voting for it no matter how much he yells, he knows that we are not going to support his cuts. So he is trying to act like a macho man." Thanks Ruben! Now what is it you are going to cut? Or do you have a 3 billion dollar new revenue stream that will work?
            Of course , leave it to Republican ‘leader’ Dean Skelos to put this in the most idiotic terms “      "This is not the old Soviet Union,". He added later: "He's not King David Paterson. We threw out King David a long time ago."       
I think its time the voters let this do-nothing legislature let them know what we think about their fiefdoms. I say we throw them out. Think about it, could it be worse? Can you go below ‘most dysfunctional’ and ‘least efficient’ legislature in America ?


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