The New York state budget is almost 3 months late. The state has financial issues, pretty much like all the other states, but it’s budget it tied into the stock market, and that’s not doing so well. Congress is split between both parties, and the majorities are slim. Nothing’s getting done; it’s politics as usual.

The governor of the state, David Patterson, is recommending some very interesting things that he’s determined are going to go through if there’s no budget, and some of them he’s hoping will go through anyway. Things like slashing Medicaid, which is the worst payer to begin with, adding things like a soda tax. The state has already increased the price of cigarettes to where it’s going to cost about $10 a pack, almost $11 a pack in NYC.

Now there are plenty of commercials attacking the governor and some of his plans. Every commercial makes him out to be a buffoon, and says people should write their congress-folks to complain about cutting this or adding that, saying it’s wrong.

You know what’s missing in every one of these commercials? What do any of them suggest the governor do instead? None of them have any inkling, which is why I ignore all of them. It’s not that all of them are wrong, just that all of them are misleading and childish.

Years ago I was working someplace and we had a consultant in. The guy was there for 3 days asking all sorts of questions. In the end, he came up with a 30 page report of all these problems. He found 64 issues; I knew about 63 of them. For each issue his recommendation was “put more people on this”. How’s that a recommendation? If I had all the people he recommended I wouldn’t have had the problem to begin with. Even the CFO looked at it and dismissed it as useless.

The problem with many folks who hate something is that they don’t have, or can’t think of, anything better to do. That was the problem with the health care debate earlier this year; whether you liked what the President and the democrats came up with, at least they came up with something, while the republicans just kept saying no. They said they had a health care plan; not only did they not have one, but they never intended to present one.

And that’s the problem in New York. I don’t like knowing that schools are going to have to fire teachers. I don’t like that our produce farmers are having difficulties because the budget isn’t passed. I don’t like that our government is on the verge of shutting down because we don’t have the money to pay all the workers. I certainly don’t like hearing that Medicaid is going to be slashed when it already only pays hospitals and providers $9 for a chest x-ray and things go down from there.

But what else can be done? There are things I don’t care about that someone else does. Neither one of us really wants only half of what we used to have, but if it’s me I’d compromise so that we’d both at least have something. In this case, everyone wants everything and doesn’t want to compromise, and some parties want more.

I’ve said elsewhere that California has basically condemned itself to poverty; New York isn’t far behind.

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