Friday, October 29, 2010

The Post Where Holly Complains about the State of the State

Tuesday is election day, which is wonderful because I get to see my husband again.

I’m concerned some people out there are considering NOT voting- and I understand somewhat. I myself am going to have a hard time voting for:

a) The gubernatorial candidate who is against gay marriage but thinks people having sex with animals is e-mail worthy OR

b) The man who says he’s going to cut the budget but will inevitably raise taxes because he just can’t help himself. It’s just what Cuomos do.

State elections are just as important as federal elections. In fact, your local representatives make more decisions that affect your day-to-day life than your US senators.

Case in point:

You may not have heard, but NYS taxes are high. Supremely high. Nauseatingly high. Makes me want to move to the south high.

I was doing a little research, and I found a perfectly lovely home in a historic district in Savannah, GA. It has four bedrooms, four fireplaces, refinished wood floors, and oodles of charm. I calculated a 30-year mortgage with escrow (NO DOWN PAYMENT) and guess what? The monthly payment came to $120 less than our own payment. And the house costs more than twice what ours did.

We are a perfect example a middle class family considering moving to greener pastures because the taxes are strangling us. Middle-class New Yorkers pay nearly 40% of their income in taxes- and our property taxes are the highest in the entire country. Do you have any idea how much it costs to send a student to school for a year here in NYS? More than it does to send him or her to the BEST private schools in Rochester. $17,123/ student. 67% MORE than the national average. Yet, our kids’ standardized test scores and graduation rates are far below the national average.

Guess who spends the most on state welfare? If you guessed Nevada, you are incorrect. New Yorkers spend 78% more on welfare benefits than the national average.

In 1982, the New York State government declared a “war” on poverty by drastically increasing welfare benefits. Since then, the Empire state’s poverty level has significantly increased.

The poor are moving to New York in droves and the middle class are hightailing it to warmer climates.

The centre cannot hold.

The big election issues in NY this election season are: health care, education, and property taxes. New Yorkers have been throwing moolah at these issues for the past 30 years, and not only has it NOT helped, but the government has dug a hole that the state may never get out of.

Note: It is a huge misnomer to believe that people who want to cut taxes don’t give a crap about the elderly and the impoverished, and if you imply that’s what I believe, you have greatly insulted me and I will go to my room to sulk. I don’t wish to deprive ANYONE of health care. But I also think it’s inappropriate to use ambulances as taxis and to take your kid to the ER because he had a nosebleed. (This is based on a true story. The family next to us in the ER was there because their son, an 8-year old, had a minor nosebleed four hours earlier. They had taken an ambulance to get to the hospital. Why were we there? Ben stuck his hand in the vacuum while it was running and it appeared… disfigured. But that’s a completely different story.)

I also don’t wish to deprive anyone of a decent education, but frivolous programs should be cut. Teachers don’t need to attend conferences in Myrtle Beach. I’ve been to an educational conference. I suggest subscribing to an educational journal: same information, at 1/2000 of the cost.

Nor should taxpayers foot the bill for Buffalo teachers' cosmetic surgeries.  A $9 million bill.  Is that really so unreasonable?

Don’t get me started on the unions.

(I should totally rule the world. Obviously I have all the answers.)

How much are taxpayers supposed to sacrifice to support government programs that just don’t work? New York is taking blood faster than the body can recoup its loss. It’s not a matter of what’s fair and what isn’t- it’s a matter of what works and what doesn’t. You can’t take what’s not there.

So, if next year I’m writing a post from Savannah, you will know why.

On a final note- let gays marry.  Maybe then they'll stay in NY and contribute to the economy.

My new house?
Click here to find out who your local representatives are and to find other political information that will serve useful this coming Tuesday. Remember, you forfeit your right to complain about the state of the state if you don’t vote. Is that a right you really want to give up?

The polls open Tuesday. Be there.


Anonymous said...


True story:

Union worker in northern NY wasn't allowed to work because the budget hadn't been balanced. He was still paid, just not allowed to work. Sucking on NY taxpayers' teats. Now that the budget is balanced, they are scrambling to catch up on the work they didn't do and the snow plows are not going to be ready for winter.

Hooray for NY!


Debbie said...

I agree 110 percent! Great Blog!

Dan said...

You nailed it. My family has lived in New York since 1710, but the state is practically forcing us out at this point. Something's gotta give! I'm pulling levers for anyone with a hint of common sense. Or, you know, pushing buttons on some fancy new machine that's costing us millions...