Thursday, July 06, 2006


As stewards of God's gifts, we must take responsibility not only for our actions, but also for those of our elected officials. As we have noted in the past, those leaders are not doing a good job on the budget, either on the state or federal level. Three examples on the state level:

a report released in May by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi found that New Yorkers pay the highest local taxes in the nation, 60 percent above the national average.

. . . New York state lawmakers two weeks ago signed off on a record $113 billion state budget that represented a 10 percent increase over 2005 spending. And get this: During the final days alone of the session, lawmakers added $1 billion in spending.

At the current rate, spending in New York is projected to grow by at least 10 percent in each of the next two years, says the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

New Yorkers should keep all of this in mind in the fall as they cash rebate checks averaging $300. The budget crisis that New Jersey's experiencing is on its way.

A big part of the problem lies in the broken spirit of the New York Republican Party. Fearful of losing control of the Senate, Republicans decided that the way to resolution was to become Democrats. In truth, that's nothing new for them; the Senate has necessarily been an integral part of every government giveaway. But the whiff of their current desperation is pathetic.