The NY Post makes an important point in an editorial today-Governor Paterson should stop all of his public worrying about himself, and address NY's the dire fiscal situation: "Gov. Paterson went on TV Sunday and insisted yet again that, despite stiff pressure to bow out, he was intent on running for governor next year. Fine. But here's a better question: What does Paterson plan to do about New York's increasingly dire fiscal situation? And why, for that matter, is he discussing his future? Aren't the state's finances just a bit more pressing?"
And pressing they certainly are-although that might be a bit mild a characterization of our current mess: "Albany may soon run out of money to pay its bills, just like California.
As we said last week, and fiscal expert E.J. McMahon said on these pages yesterday: We've seen this movie before; it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and the near-bankrupt state of California. Paterson can babble on all he wants about whether President Obama told him, or didn't tell him, not to run again -- and whether he intends to listen. "I realize that there are people who don't want me to run," he said Sunday. But he quickly made clear: "I am running for governor in 2010." It all makes for great gossip. But it puts the cart on the wrong end of the horse."
New York needs some strong remedies-and the last legislative session increased the state debt, rather than diminish it: "Alas, facing a $38 billion hole, and a Legislature run by tax-addicted Democrats, Paterson is unlikely to even propose such a move. Quite the opposite. That's particularly disappointing, because, as McMahon made clear, New York's fiscal problems going forward do not stem from a lack of tax revenue -- but from out-of-control spending. Meanwhile, Paterson is headed to the Golden State this week to talk about climate change with Schwarzenegger and other governors. Hmm. We can think of a far more appropriate topic for Dave and Arnold."
What we need are leaders whose first response-and second and third-isn't another tax and fee. We are already second to last among all state's in business climate; and that, incredibly, actually puts us ahead of California (but not New Jersey). So Paterson needs to salvage the state's situation as best as he can. Grown up actions are what's needed, not Hamlet-like soliloquies.