Facing the facts about New York’s budget holetop male enhancements online


Despite solid growth in revenues over the last decade, New York state faces a $6 billion budget gap this coming fiscal year — and worse in the years to follow. Are Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature going to address the cause — namely, their own free-spending ways — or stick it to taxpayers and local governments?

Early signs are bad. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has already admitted his chamber’s first choice is always “revenue enhancements,” i.e., tax hikes. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has been . . . mild, is the nice way to put it, in saying she’d rather avoid that solution. Meanwhile, her progressive members are pushing a $30 billion a year “tax the rich” plan.

And the governor in his State of the State Address indicated he wants to “restructure” New York’s Medicaid program — widely read (though the gov’s team denies it) as shifting more of the state’s costs onto New York City and the counties.

Notably, that’s a retreat from one of Cuomo’s better moves, specifically his capping of local governments’ Medicaid bills six years ago.

New York is the only state to dump any significant share of Medicaid costs on lower levels of government — an approach that makes little sense, since Albany sets the rules for who’s eligible and what benefits are offered.

Most important, it’s clear that Cuomo and other state leaders are to blame for the fact that New York’s Medicaid costs jumped by $15 billion annually over the past two years, to a yearly total of about $77 billion — despite no growth in enrollment and historically low medical inflation.

By Albany’s count, the state’s Medicaid gap is about $4 billion for the coming year. Cuomo’s cost-shifting would magically erase most of that — likely without addressing the causes at all.

Such as the increases in reimbursement rates that Cuomo has OK’d, and the huge wage hikes that he and the Legislature have mandated. New York also hasn’t worried much about checking if new Medicaid applicants are actually eligible for the taxpayer-paid coverage.

Overall, the independent budget watchdogs of the Citizens Budget Commission note that the state’s problem was “caused by a long-time structural budget imbalance and recent failure to account for the true costs of the State’s Medicaid program.” They call New York’s fiscal outlook “extremely troubling.”

Deep in the hole after a yearslong boom? Yeah, that’s troubling.

Along with its job-killing regulations, New York’s high taxes, fees and surcharges poison the state’s business climate. Nearly a million people have fled the state over the past decade as a result.

Action to balance the state budget should come without Cuomo’s usual “fog of confusion.” And Albany shouldn’t bank on revenue from legal pot and sports betting to do the trick: The expansion of casino gambling has already failed to produce the expected new revenues.

To turn this corner, Cuomo & Co. need to cut spending — and not just the growth in outlays — and avoid cost-shifting gimmicks. Otherwise, New York will see its residents fleeing for the exits at an even faster pace.