State Senate candidate Dave Renzi today said that years of Albany overspending is at the root of the state’s latest fiscal crisis — and warned that a “quick fix” that relies on tax increases or cuts in school spending will only make matters worse.
Renzi held a press conference to discuss the state’s budget crisis at the home of retired Watertown resident Silverio Spaziani. The press conference comes one day after Renzi confronted his opponent, during the candidates’ second debate, over his support for $35 billion in new and higher spending and massive tax increases in the state budget.
“The budget crisis facing our state did not happen overnight,” Renzi said. “It was a direct result of years of overtaxing and overspending, and delaying tough decisions until it was too late.
“During Tuesday’s debate, my opponent had to publicly confront his role in New York’s budget crisis, and he failed the test. We can’t tax and spend our way out of the current crisis, but Albany must make tough choices to balance the budget without further harming taxpayers.”
New York is facing a budget gap that Gov. Paterson estimates at up to $6 billion, and lawmakers already returned to Albany last month to begin to plug that gap. But the weekend’s Wall Street collapse may have compounded the problem, and some Albany lawmakers have already begun to call for tax hikes to balance the budget.
“The warning signs of a troubled economy were already clear last spring when my opponent voted for a budget that increased spending at twice the rate of inflation, just as they were when he voted to increase spending by $35 billion over the past six years.
“Now the past is catching up to us, and some career politicians want to make matters worse by again moving to raise taxes, or cut critical programs like school aid, which will only mean higher property taxes here at home,” Renzi said.
“Clearly, our national economy is in trouble,” Renzi said, noting this week’s collapse of several Wall Street powerhouses. “But other states that shown spending restraint during the years of flush budgets are now in a far better position that New York to weather this storm.”
One neighboring state, Connecticut, recently announced a budget surplus — and is issuing rebates to return the surplus directly to taxpayers.
“We need to learn from the example of other states that have shown spending restraint, cut up Albany’s credit cards, and put a cap on the overspending that creates our budget problems,” Renzi said.
Instead of higher taxes and cuts to critical programs like school aid, Renzi said that Albany should enact a spending cap to limit budget growth at an affordable level, and make a determined effort to find and eliminate wasteful spending.