We all are being told to cut back, but of course, governments across the nation refuse to do so. Their greed continues unabated despite the suffering of taxpayers.
Governors from both parties are determined to stick it to taxpayers in order to fund useless, bloated programs. It would be more productive to take piles of money and flush them down a giant toilet.
New York Gov. David Paterson included 137 new or increased taxes and fees in his proposed state budget, including an 18% “anti-obesity tax” on sugary soft drinks. After promising not to raise taxes, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to increase the sales tax, which is now at 7.25%, by 1.5 percentage points.
Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute is unsympathetic to the states: “Middle-income families do not get wage increases during a recession, but neither should the states. Families have to cut back, and so should state government. They should cut spending. […] These states should have been retrenching after budget increases of 7% over the last two years, but they repeated the same mistakes they made in the late ’90s, assuming the good times were going to last forever.”
A survey of state officials by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) projects state spending will drop by 0.1% in fiscal 2009. That’s it: just 0.1% while real gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of 0.5% in the third quarter (and perhaps much more next year) and unemployment rose to 6.7% in November, up from 4.9% in January.