Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fiscal foolishness

It's been said that budgets are moral documents. The budget passed by the New York Legislature seems to fail that test. Take, for example, these comments.
It didn't take long for legislative leaders to make short work of this year's budget surplus. They squandered it on a raft of tax cuts that will make incumbents look good before voters this November, when fiscal prudence argued for a more responsible use of the windfall. As a result, New York will more than likely face budget deficits in the coming years, and will surely slip deeper into debt. Gov. Pataki is right to raise the threat of a veto, although the votes to override him appear to be there in both the Assembly and Senate.

"They're leaving the next governor with an exploding cigar," said E. J. McMahon, a budget expert at the conservative Manhattan Institute.

Once this budget gets to his desk, Gov. George Pataki should do what he can to restore some fiscal sanity to the mayhem. Unfortunately, even Pataki's original budget proposal, which called for less spending than the Legislature would like to authorize, didn't go far enough to address the state's long-term financial health.

And here:
There's still time for the full Legislature and the governor to agree upon a taxing and spending course that makes sense for New York. They should quit Fantasyland and seize the opportunity.