Gov. Paterson yesterday socked New Yorkers with a mind-boggling 137 proposed new and hiked taxes on everything from beer to cab rides to iTunes downloads and movie tickets...The doomsday, $121.1 billion plan represents the biggest tax hike in state history and slashes services across the board - while still increasing spending by $1.4 billion....Gov's Tax & Spend Shocker, NY Post, 12/17/08
Conceiving of state employment as an entitlement has reached a new low in New York State, with the accidental Governor proposing $4.1 billion in new taxes, almost all of which are regressive, i.e., suckers like us have to pay them. This, of course, is typical of the People's Republic of New York. Socialist bureaucracies, confronted by declining revenues, don't look at wasteful spending such as a retirement policy that allows service union employees to retire at 45. Instead, they look for "rich" people to make sure that early retirement remains an option for NYS employees. With these taxes, "rich" has been defined downwards to anybody stupid enough to work for a living. The taxpayer flight that has emptied out western New York will spread. Then Albany can tax state employees to pay their salaries and benefits, the ultimate zero sum game.
Like California's, New York's bureaucrats and politicians seem to be of the infantile opinion that there's nothing so valuable to state residents as the services rendered by state employees. The remarkable willingness of people to pay the exorbitant fees of private primary, middle and high schools is a fairly good indication of the speciousness of that opinion. Privately organized streetcleaning and garbage collection districts, widespread throughout New York City and set up to compensate for mediocre city service, is another. The willingness to put up with extravagant fees, high tolls, and vindictive parking restrictions rather than riding to work in the world's largest and most expensive transit system is another. Perhaps the best, however, is the looting of disability benefits by Long Island Railroad employees. That's almost a paradigm for people who think state employment is a gravy train, not service to the people: Looting is their most important product.