You have to wonder sometimes if the Buffalo News does this intentionally or not... On the same day that there is an op-ed written by the Working Families Party saying that taxpayers should... get this... THANK Bill Stachowski and Antoine Thompson for their vote on the state budget, there's also an article about a poll showing that over 20% of New Yorkers are ready to leave the state.
I suppose the fact the Working Families Party is sticking fast to their mantra of high taxes and more government is good from one perspective: as people get angrier and angrier about the state of New York's economy, it'll be easy to know where to point the fingers.
We strive in all of our advocacy efforts to find stories, data and anecdotes that back up our message. That's not as easy as it sounds sometimes, for a couple reasons - (1) Sometimes data just isn't tangible - such as with apprenticeship requirements (it's impossible to know how much more taxpayers are paying because apprenticeship mandates skew the bidding process); (2) often "think-tank" information gets distorted by the perception that its source is either a pro-business or anti-business research firm; (3) respect for the privacy of private sector employers' and their employees' information; and (4) with new anti-employer legislation coming out all the time, sometimes the information won't be available for a while. The good thing is that we can use other states' examples, and here's a good one from Maryland about how costly it is to make up budget shortfalls by raising taxes on the "rich," as New York did in the 2009-10 budget. It's not unimaginable to see a similar trend happening in New York.
The Working Families' op-ed describes Stachowski and Thompson as "courageous" for making their tax-heavy votes. As a comparison, I want to point you to California, where Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger announced $5.5 billion in proposed cuts in government spending just yesterday. Take a look at what is being proposed for spending cuts in California. Do I believe that in the end, they're going to cut welfare-to-work programs and children's health care? No, I don't. But to us, "courage" is much better defined as looking at everything on the table - as awful as it is to do so - and then being creative in finding solutions. Anyone can raise taxes.
But, I guess we should probably take the writer's suggestion, and send thank yous to everyone who "courageously" voted for this state budget...
Thank you for the higher taxes on health insurance, that will make coverage unaffordable for many New Yorkers.
Thank you for the higher taxes on energy - a double hit for taxpayers who will have to pay higher costs on their own household energy costs and the costs that will be passed on to them through higher prices on consumer goods and services.
Thank you for increasing taxes on small businesses through the Personal Income Tax hike, which will cost people jobs.
You know what? That did feel good.