Governor David Paterson on the Financial Crunch

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New York's financial health continues to worsen, and Governor David Paterson has delayed payments to counties, schools, local governments and non-profit service providers until things improve. He discusses the current fiscal crisis and his plans for recovery.


Governor David A. Paterson

Comments [29]

Voter from Brooklyn

“Baby with the bathwater” isn’t a veiled threat Miranda, it was in direct response to your wholesale rejection of the industry in New York. Yes, the industry does threaten to go elsewhere if it is not catered to, but you seen to not want them here anyway because of the ills of the past.
If you are willing to accept a new era of austerity in the state and city or are willing to pay higher taxes, spend locally, and increase your donations to not-for-profits to replace what would be lost—I know not of any industry that New York City could currently attract that would replace lost Wall Street dollars—then I have no issue with your position. The problem is, however, that lower and middle income Americans seem to want, want, want, without being willing to give, give, give.
On a side note, people seem to stick up their noses at the flagrant greed of Wall Street, but were quite willing to hold their noses and reap the trickle down rewards of that greed in the form of 401Ks, IRAs, invested health and education savings accounts, and real estate speculation.
Do you also believe we need to reform the notion of money-for-nothing-get-rich investment and go more towards a sort of reap what you sow non-investment savings to help shield Americans in the future from drops in the market?

Dec. 10 2009 12:00 PM
Miranda from Brooklyn

It's always easier to dismiss a systemic critique in times of crisis because the emergency is too great. Then when times are good, criticisms get dismissed because it's all working so well. It sounds like we agree that regulation is needed, but industry lobbyists are continuing to fight even the most basic reforms, in large part by crying about how essential they are, and how they are being demonized. Most agree, however, that the finanicial sector is undertaxed and underregulated.

The "baby with the bath water" argument is actually a veiled threat, implying that unless financial companies get the same deal they've had, they will relocate. In any scenario, New York's financial centrality is likely to diminish because of tech, globalization, etc; further, the deal they've had is self-evidently harmful to the general good. It's time to re-think this, and the need for austerity should not prevent us doing that.

Dec. 10 2009 11:33 AM


Perhaps what you say about our over-dependence on Wall Street is true. But the fact remains that NYS is in major financial trouble, and taxes the state collects on bonuses should not be overlooked as an important source of income for the state.

We may, in the future, move towards other means of financial stability. But we need a solution to our financial insecurity now, BEFORE we face problems like those seen in other states.

The senators stated that they wanted to make broader cuts next year to give the institutions like schools and hospitals time to plan for the cuts, but if the state can't pay these institutions anyway, what's the difference? I'm no expert, but Gov. Pat. seems to have thinking based more in NYS's economic reality and future than the senators.

Dec. 10 2009 11:11 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

His point, Miranda, was “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.”
Business as usual does need to be regulated/cleaned up on Wall Street, but without Wall Street your life, not only a resident of New York State, but especially as a resident of New York City would be profoundly different.
Please explain what other options would fund NY states comparatively generous Medicare, the NYC school system, the large police and fire fighting forces in NYC, the level of NYC park maintenance, the current level of hospitality options, the current level of arts, the current level of social services, etc, etc…
NYS and NYC being so heavily dependent on Wall Street is a problem, but please tell me if you are willing to either:
A. Cut back on lifestyle so the state and city can live within its newer means without Wall Street.
B. Contribute a greater amount of your wealth to taxes and charity and local merchants to maintain your expectations without Wall street.
C. Or go to pure capitalism were we are not dependent on taxes and all services are private and you get only what you can pay for (from police protection, childhood education, and medical care to outdoor space, clean reliable drinking water, and transportation).

Dec. 10 2009 11:09 AM
Miranda from Brooklyn

Patterson's comments on banks make me furious. To actually suggest that we should refrain from criticism of finance in these times, or that we should only be grateful for their largesse makes me want to scream.

The whole point is that we are too dependent on Wall Street, and that the centrality of the banks resulted from government incentives and policies that hurt other options, such as light industry and manufacturing. If one more Wall Street slob tells me that we should all be grateful for their bonuses I will SNAP.

A real leader would understand that his role is to point us towards other options. Instead Patterson repeats these trite trickle down economic bromides about bonuses working for everyone, and actually suggests that the oligarchic anti-democratic controls on speech in Texas is what we should emulate.

Patterson is a stooge, nothing more. I'm sorry every day he is Governor. He absolutely must go.

Dec. 10 2009 10:44 AM
Jon from NYC

If Patterson runs for (re?)election, he'll be the first governor I will ever vote *for*.

Blunt, honest, and active. What a rarity in our dysfunctional Albany.

Dec. 10 2009 10:40 AM
jane from hudson valley, NY

I agree with Josh, Mike Johnston, Mike, etc.; Gov David Patterson is the first to actually speak what he sees as the truth! And brave enough to speak the truth in view of low "ratings"! It is refreshing. I congratulate B Lehrer for having the Governor on the program to help us all understand the State problems.
I always like to hear E Weiner too.
Thank you Brian for these 2 honest people. Even if they donot agree.

Dec. 10 2009 10:33 AM
yourgo from astoria

Will the Tea Party support Patterson because of his fiscal conservatism.?
or are they just racist republican party funded activists.

I like Pattersons honesty and the factt that he is not treating the people of NY like children, I WILL VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN.

Dec. 10 2009 10:30 AM
David from Great Neck

Ask Paterson about the NYS Mini-COBRA law that was well-intentioned but leaves those of us who worked for big companies that are self-funded out in the cold! I thought I was covered but only learned last week I was NOT. Now among the 46 million and hoping can get a new policy soon, but it will be expensive!

Dec. 10 2009 10:26 AM
Nik from Astoria

Britain is taxing them 50%, France thinking the same. Governor, why can't NYS impose a one-time 75-80% tax on bonuses? Penalize the highest paid execs to re-shape their ethics and shore up our books.

Wall St workers are our friends and neighbors -- time for an intervention!

Dec. 10 2009 10:26 AM
Betty Anne from UES

Is there any way his law of accepting out-of-state gay marriage applies to foreign marriage?

Dec. 10 2009 10:26 AM
mbk from nyc

I agree with the last caller. I thing you are doing a great job and I am so glad you will run for another term. I regret that you do pay a price for being honest and for making sound decisions that are not easy politically.

Dec. 10 2009 10:25 AM

I'm with Richard Johnston. I like Patterson. He's totally on the level.

Dec. 10 2009 10:24 AM
Michael Carlin MD from greenpoint

I see on the wnyc home page that the legal aid fund is running out of money. How come our lawmakers are not proposing to impose a tax on all attorneys income to pay for legal aid, like they have proposed taxing doctors income to pay for health care services

Dec. 10 2009 10:23 AM

If the thrust of your argument can't be summarized in 20 words or less then it is JUST BS. It's a rule. This applies to Patterson's defense of Wall St. bonuses.

Arguing that it is natural to be addicted to the taxes on Wall St. bonus billions implies a zero sum game mentality toward capitalism and NY's potential that is deeply cynical. Sooner or later, New York will have to expand its funding resources beyond sectors powered by mere traders.

Dec. 10 2009 10:23 AM
M from UES

Agreeing with (11). If Paterson were like every other politician, he'd be slamming the banks, and riding the political wave of anger against them. There's an election next year. He's not making himself any more popular by what he's saying.

Dec. 10 2009 10:22 AM
Paula Heisen from manhattan

why is it that these profits by wall street are not taxed unless they are paid out in bonuses?

Dec. 10 2009 10:22 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

New York state has put a lot of its eggs in one basket with Wall Street, and those of you whom think Wall Street doesn’t matter and that the tax revenue from Wall Street doesn’t matter, get ready for higher taxes and fewer jobs. I’m not talking about fewer financial industry jobs, I’m talking about fewer restaurant jobs, fewer sales hocking your “art”, fewer retail jobs, fewer construction jobs, fewer theater jobs, fewer hospitality jobs, basically fewer jobs all around where Wall Street spends its money. Yes, financial markets need to be heavily regulated, but if you don’t want the industry here, you industry probably won’t be here either.
As for the governors approach to across the board cuts because of the impotent legislature… I didn’t think it was possible, but I had absolutely no intent of voting for Patterson, but I think he’s winning me over.

Dec. 10 2009 10:21 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper West Side

I don't understand why this courageous governor is taking so much flak because he's telling the truth. He's a real breath of fresh air compared to all these other hacks.

Dec. 10 2009 10:18 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

How about saving money by reducing the 800 redundant patronage mills called Public Authorities. You could save billions there.

How about stopping the Atlantic Yards project which will cost the State millions of dollars.

Dec. 10 2009 10:17 AM
Sallie from Heights

Much as I hate to admit, guv's right here. A big wall st. banker gets a bonus of $1 million bonus, NYS gets 1/2, or something, doesn't it? Then, teachers get paid, medicare, etc. I don't like that Wall St. is like corn in Iowa, but it's inevitable. That could be changed, though..would like to hear more ideas from him about that.

Dec. 10 2009 10:17 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

To David @5.

While I too am appalled at the banks, Patterson has a point (and no I am not a huge supporter either). Wall Street is %20 of our economy in New York. Do you want to become a Detroit? These banks are private companies. This is a lot of tax money and will preserve jobs. They can do what they want. I was against the bailouts, what happened was their fault, why pump them up? People want private enterprise and deplore goverment intervention in anything be it this, health care, etc. So we want private industry to drive our economy, but yet have government intervention to tell them how much to pay. They need to make up their minds.

Dec. 10 2009 10:16 AM
Kiki from NJ

What does Paterson mean by "financial rubicund"?

"I asked all of you to come here today to advise that we are in a very deep quagmire," said Paterson. "New York is now at the breaking point. We are about to cross the financial rubicund into fiscal disaster."

Dec. 10 2009 10:12 AM
Robert from NYC

He'd better not support the Wall Street bonuses and good for NYS taxes as he has in past and as I heard reported on NY1 this morning. That's bullcrap and there are other ways to make up for those that he should work to find out what they are a put them in place.

Dec. 10 2009 10:09 AM
David UWS

After the guv's BS comments yesterday about standing up for our banks I completely lost all respect for him. It't time for you to go.

Dec. 10 2009 10:08 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I refuse to understand why the legislature has been so obstinate (yes we all know how politicians really are). We've all known about this for months. They are all worried about their jobs over what they cut. We'll how about for not doing your job. I applaud Gov. Patterson for his efforts. When he threatened, emptily, to seek power to take on the budget himself it was obviously a tactic. But the legislature took him seriously. Instead of taking the threat for what it was and go to work, they complained the budget was their job and Patterson was on a power grab. Idiots.

Dec. 10 2009 10:07 AM

Now where did we put those darn tobacco industry settlement billions?

Dec. 10 2009 10:06 AM

Have you studied past governors and other leaders in this/your current fiscal situation? And if so, can you name some best practices you may have learned which might apply now?

Dec. 10 2009 10:04 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

Governor Paterson has been courageous in standing up to the SEIU union/Working Familiies Party/ACORN version of a new self-serving "entitlement industry". As Fred Siegel wrote for the Manhattan Institute earlier this year....these guys are more powerful than Tammany Hall ever was (and more dangerous). They now have the power to vote for their own income stream. What a racket!!

Paterson realizes that the there is simply no more money in the cookie jar. Go David !!!!

Dec. 10 2009 09:48 AM

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