If the proposed state budget reveals anything about our legislators, it's that they have trouble prioritizing how to spend money.
They certainly don't have trouble spending money. The proposed New York state budget is a whopping $135 billion. However, our elected state representatives have trouble determining who needs the money the most.
How else to explain the state is planning to cut funding for cancer screenings for the uninsured and programs to curb teen smoking - to save about $3.5 million. Meanwhile, the state will give $54 million to help renovate Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The budget even includes a provision that appears tailored to provide a 30 percent tax break to draw the "Tonight" show back to New York City.
State officials have defended both apparent giveaways. The Cuomo administration will get a luxury box at "The Ralph" that can be used to promote upstate to businesses, they said, and the money for the "Tonight" show would come from an already existing $420 million film tax credit program.
However, those alleged benefits ignore the reality of what the state is doing.
For all practical purposes, the state is taking from programs designed to aid those who are poor or educate those who are ignorant so officials can claim they helped create jobs - which is supposed to be the work of the free market.
It's not as if state officials had to keep a pledge not to raise taxes. The budget actually extends two taxes that were set to expire.
We understand the state wants to encourage business. However, reducing taxes and spending money where it is truly needed would be better a better plan.
Of course, if the state did that, it might not get a luxury box.