Monday, July 28, 2008

Budget Gloom

This morning's NY Post focuses in on the gloomy budget forecasts for both the state and the city: "Gov. Paterson, convinced the state faces its worst fiscal crisis since the mid-1970s, will deliver the grim news in an unprecedented special address to New Yorkers as soon as tomorrow night, The Post has learned." This isn't good news for New York's tax payers.

Which makes our previous posts on the state's failure to collect Indian cigarette taxes all the more compelling. It has now become not only fiscally irresponsible to allow Indian cigarette retailers to skate on paying their taxes, it is at the same time political malfeasance of the highest order. To make any move to balance the budget through tax increases and the raising of regulatory fees is simply both unconscionable and untenable-leaving the governor open to damaging charges.

Now we know that Paterson's talking tough on reducing government spending; that's all to the good: "The governor has said he's tired of the state going from deficit to deficit, spending like it has a credit card that never has to be paid, and that he's prepared to take action," the source said." But we also know that this tough talk is often a prelude to tax increases; and if so, the Indian loophole must be closed.