Curb the State Budget

To the Editor:

Re “Time for Shelly to Go” and “Has Spitzer Blown It?” [Editorials, July 30]:

The recently adopted state budget was a terrible joke at taxpayers’ expense. It confirms that the three-way dance in Albany between Governor Eliot Spitzer, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Democratic State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver goes on.

The same financial mismanagement that occurred under previous G.O.P. Governor George Pataki’s three terms with the assistance of Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver continues.

Why should the cost of state government consistently go up each year? State legislators should automatically adopt last year’s budget and spending levels. Real fiscal reform restricts any new spending below the rate of inflation.

An honest budget has no fiscal gimmicks such as one-shot revenues, excessive bonding (whose short term benefits are offset by usurious interest payments several times their value) or hidden offline expenses under quasi-independent agencies. The budget should be written in the king’s English so ordinary citizens can understand what is going on.

Albany needs to return to old-fashioned pay-as-you-go financial management. In the long run, this is the only way to introduce fiscal responsibility and reduce debt. Real reform will only come to Albany when voters fire the team of Mr. Spitzer, Mr. Bruno, Mr. Silver and their loyal followers.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.