Paterson Bashes Deficit Bill, Which He’ll Sign

ALBANY—David Paterson is back on the radio this morning, attacking state legislators who have enacted a deficit reduction agreement which he said he intends to sign.

“What has disturbed me is that we’ve had more conversations about the political consequences if we vote for these cuts rather than the consequences for western New York,” Paterson said this morning on WHAM. He said legislators “blissfully came to Albany, cut a couple of things, and now they’ll say ‘Look at me! Hooray for me! I saved the schools.’ They didn’t save the schools. In the end, the reduction of payments to the schools is going to be much worse.”

This continues Paterson’s weird tight rope walk on the deficit reduction plan: on the one hand he agreed to it because it will prevent the state from running out of cash and he knew he wasn’t going to get anything better, but on the other it’s his shtick now to bash legislators and make himself look like a fiscal hawk, to increase his own political standing.

“It’s outrageous. The only reason I signed it is because there are about $600 million of savings,” Paterson told John Gambling on WOR. “They could have reduced this deficit so the state doesn’t run out of money, reduce its credit rating and go down the dead end that other states have gone down.”

“Close is not good enough not only because of the number–they’re $500 million short–but because of the types of cuts they’re implementing,” Paterson said on WCBS 880. “I will unilaterally make those cuts.”

Such a move will be legally challenged, everyone expects.