Throughout the budget process this year we have remained true to our commitment – to address the over $10 billion deficit by cutting spending, not raising taxes. New York State does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. To get our economy moving and create new jobs, we need to get government off people’s and businesses backs – hence spending cuts, not new taxes.
We can’t tax our way out of this recession. gets it. I get it. Unfortunately, there are others who don’t.
As we head into the final lap of budget discussions in Albany, it is increasingly clear that special interest groups plan to defend their stranglehold on New York State’s purse strings by stepping up their propaganda. These groups are committed to maintaining the historical status quo and will fight, tooth and nail, to block the change we were elected to implement.
By now many of us have been inundated by mailers, radio advertisements and phone calls on both sides of the issue. Some are complimentary and ask that you call and thank me. Others are critical and ask that you call and urge me to change my position. I have asked for neither the compliments nor the criticism and am all too aware that each represents the sender’s own agenda, not ours. It may be what’s good for that particular interest group, but not our state, our district, our residents, and our businesses.
I remain true to my commitment – cut spending to balance the budget without raising taxes no matter the pressure that these groups may bring to bear.
So they’ve hit the airwaves on the radio and sent mailers to our homes trying to influence the debate in their favor. They continue to ask that we raise taxes – and give it to them. They continue to ask that we take funds from other groups – and give it to them. They continue to ask that we borrow our way into debt – and give it to them.
Enough is enough. The state has gotten into its current fiscal predicament by giving in to special interests in the past. That time is over. It’s time to put all New Yorkers first, not just the few.
We were elected this past year with a clear mandate to change the way Albany does business. And to be sure, there is pain in closing a $10 billion deficit. But that pain must and will be shared by everyone. Special interests do not get a pass simply because they try to manipulate the message to their advantage. Shared sacrifice means shared sacrifice by all, not just the taxpayers of this state.
I stand by Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the New York State Senate – from both sides of the aisle – who have embraced putting these reforms into place. I ask you to stand with us against those who would hijack our progress to selfishly promote their own agenda.
If ever there was hope that we could overcome our troubles, that hope is now. This is New York’s moment and these special interests just won’t accept it.
is the representative of New York's Seventh Senatorial District. He was elected to the State Senate in 2010 as a Republican from Mineola.