Thursday, March 08, 2007

Back at ya -Eliot hit on budget Spitz called DiNapoli 'unqualified.'

New York Daily Politics JOE MAHONEY

Ya think Joe is stirring up the old sh*t pot here??? Eliot inherited quite a fiscal mess from Pataki.....Rome or Albany wasn't built in one day.....there is a lot of reform medicine for the legislature to swallow this year...DiNapoli did the right thing by pointing out..that this budget is not as austere as the critics are trying to paint it...............andy

ALBANY - As he fights his first budget war since taking office, Gov. Spitzer just got hit with a basic lesson in politics: Payback's a bitch.
State Controller Thomas DiNapoli - who got the post despite Spitzer's fierce objections - ripped into the governor's proposed budget yesterday, saying it raises spending at "an unsustainable rate."
If Spitzer's budget gets passed, DiNapoli said the state would be left with a $13 billion deficit.
This is the second time in two days that Spitzer has gotten slapped on his fiscal plan; city budget director Mark Page told the City Council Tuesday that the governor's proposal would create an $862 million shortfall in the city's coffers.
Barely two months into his first term, Spitzer's autocratic approach to governing is being challenged from all fronts: legislative leaders, the Bloomberg administration and now the controller.
DiNapoli said Spitzer's math and logic were flawed, contending that the rate of money going out the door far outpaces the flow of revenue into the state's coffers, a formula that dooms New York to "persistent structural imbalances."
All told, DiNapoli said, Spitzer's $120.6 billion budget pumps up spending by 6.3%, about 21/2 times more than the projected rate of inflation. "Spending is still increasing at an unsustainable rate, almost two times faster than revenues, and the result is a three-year budget gap of $13 billion," DiNapoli said.
In response, Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson countered that the annual growth in spending remains at "a manageable level." She allowed that the projected budget deficits beyond 2007 "are still too large," a scenario that makes it "vital to enact the health care reforms and other savings priorities he proposed this year."
Spitzer's attempt to tighten the belt on Medicaid spending and his other cost-saving moves, she added, will help New York pay for new initiatives such as increased school aid and expanded child health coverage while gradually reducing the deficit.
DiNapoli did praise the governor for taking "significant steps toward much needed reforms" by simplifying complex language in bills that allocate funds.
DiNapoli, a former state assemblyman, was elected Feb. 7 by his colleagues in the state Legislature to replace Democrat Alan Hevesi.
Hevesi resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to a felony charge for using a state worker to chauffeur his wife around.
Spitzer had supported other candidates for the position, and characterized DiNapoli as being "thoroughly and totally unqualified for the job."
Regardless of their combative past, conservative fiscal policy wonk E.J. McMahon said DiNapoli "makes an appropriate level of criticism."

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