by Jul Thompson
The State of New York has the most dysfunctional Legislature of all the 50 states. One need not look any further for evidence of that beyond the fact that we have simultaneously, among the highest overall tax burdens and highest poverty rates of anywhere in the nation. With the egregious amount the average taxpayer pays, our streets should be lined with gold. Or flowers. But certainly not trash, and pockmarked with potholes you can drive a small truck into.
The state faces a $9 billion deficit, yet somehow, some way, every bit of revenue the State manages to raise through siccing IRS agents on restaurants to invent overblown receipts, or taxing the air we breathe, gets funneled into the black hole of Albany’s General Fund. Where I live on Grand Island, I have to pay a toll to get home every day. The bridges were paid for by 1963 with these tolls. Yet violating its agreement, New York State, through the Thruway Authority, continues to collect $30 million annually on the Grand Island bridges alone. $20 million goes to pay for some road repair (however substandard and impermanent), the salaries and generous benefits of toll collectors, and $10 million is profit. In the last ten years alone, NYS has profited over $100 million, yet just two years ago, NYS HAD TO BORROW EVERY LAST CENT OF THE $54 MILLION IT TOOK TO REPAIR THE BRIDGES, at your expense. Where did that money go?
We’re triple taxed on gasoline, which means we pay more here than just about anywhere. The supplier is taxed at the source and passes that along to the consumer, we’re taxed at the pump and of course, we’re taxed at the tolls. We have three tolls within about a 30 mile radius, the 190 being the only road off the mainline Thruway (aside from New York City bridges) that has commuter taxes — and we would have four, if not for Carl Paladino’s success at getting rid of the Black Rock tolls.
We have the highest utility rates of anywhere in the nation, yet if I stand on my tippy toes, I can see the mist from Niagara Falls, probably the largest natural power generating source in the world.
We are getting crushed under the burden of exorbitant tax rates, and since manufacturing and other viable business entities have left, finding greens and lovely pastures elsewhere, essentially the only employment here for the average worker is in the low-paying service industry.
And now, the people who are responsible for this ridiculously oppressive tax burden that places a huge segment of our population below the poverty limits, want to give themselves a pay raise, again, at your expense.
Our legislators receive $79.500.00 a year as a base salary. For each committee seat they receive an additional $10,000.00. Committee chairmanships get something like another $20,000.00, and many of our legislators engage in the unethical practice of double-dipping — receiving a salary for a current position while collecting a pension on a previous publicly-funded job.
STOP THE MADNESS. Stop the open-borders policy, that vacuums out the wallets of hard-working NewYorkers with the Cadillac of healthcare going to illegals and non-residents — from a Medicaid program fraught with massive waste and abuse. Get rid of the bloomin’ idiot NYC Mayor Bloomberg, who has invited non-residents and illegals to Come! Get onto our very generous Welfare rolls! Stop spending our money on cosmetics. Stop spending. Stop hiring new government workers. Stop looking for new revenue streams. Stop chasing away our children and grandchildren. Stop chasing away business with absurd taxes and regulatory demands, then blaming their greed.
And for God’s sake, stop entertaining the silly notion that you deserve a pay raise. Those are for people who do their jobs, and do them well, not for “public servants” who have been utterly derelict in their duties, and who are unrelenting in their quest to abuse the public trust.