Closing the Gap

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New York State’s Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch, offers his suggestions for restructuring the budget.


Richard Ravitch

Comments [12]

ncohen from new york

I heartily agree with the caller who would like more open debate about public goods -- what are they, what is the right balance in a democratic society and which level of government should provide those goods? Less discussed is the dramatic increase in spending by state and local government over the last 25 years. I have blogged on this:

Mar. 16 2010 11:46 AM
Dave Thornton from Westchester

How about cutting salaries and benefits of public employees? How about comparing salaries and benefits of teachers and administrators to the average household income of the local community? They are simple too generous and the growth has been enormous. Your guest doesn't want to dicuss this issue.

Mar. 16 2010 11:19 AM
jonn k from NYC

Mar. 16 2010 10:56 AM
long island voter from long island

As the Lt Gov states, the biggest expenditures are health care and education. Hopefully health care is going to be dealt with this week.

Let's talk education. I believe we must address consolidation of school districts. The administrative costs to run all these small districts outside of NYC are a total waste of money. I know it is almost unspeakable, but Brian I'd like to hear you talk about it! What if, for example, every district had to have at least 3 high schools? That could combine Oyster Bay, Jericho & Syosset or Huntington, South Huntington & Cold Spring Harbor (as examples). If this was combined with a hiatus on school (property) tax increases, and a reduction in the state's budget deficit, I think more people might be open to it.

Mar. 16 2010 10:37 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Re: 5 -- What about the BushCo unnecessary and regressive tax cuts?

Mar. 16 2010 10:35 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Health insurance is up next. but it ties in inextricably with the topic of this segment: States who CARE for their populations face high Medicare and health insurance provision
costs for their populations.

Oh, woe is us! I've been arguing since before a new Dem president took office that our economic problems were tied inextricably to our health care problems. That universal single payer would free much of the creativity of our economy and people.

PNHP and others have presented solutions for the health CARE based on some kind of single payer system, with universal coverage creating one huge pool in this nation, and the profit aspect removed from the system ON THE INSURER LEVEL.

Small businesses and the self-employed must face the huge and ever rising costs of health insurance on their own. Large corporations do as well, but have larger pools to offer to a for-profit insurer, have deeper pockets, and many are self-insured bcz their pockets are deep enough to absorb the occasional cost spkes.

OK -- Ravitch is saying the Medicare is a huge cost factor for the state, as it is for many states unless those states choose to ignore the plight of their uninsured.

Unfortunately, the Dem president we elected has decided to protect the ongoing profitability of for-profit private insurers, Big PhRMA, Big Hospital chains -- and not the needs of the population.

PNHP says we could have saved (still could) $400B per year with single payer Medicare (Improved!) for All...with private PROVIDERS, full CHOICE of providers,comprehensive coverage from dollar one, dental and vision.

But, no, said the new Dem prez --that could NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED.

We are going to pay for that choice on many awful levels and mostly on the backs of the little people.

Mar. 16 2010 10:34 AM
M from Inwood

Did I just hear Ravitch blame Social Security and Medicare for wiping out the budget surplus that Clinton left in 2000????!!!! What about the Iraq/Afghanistan wars????

Mar. 16 2010 10:30 AM

I recognize that Brian respects the guest and Mr. Ravitch indeed is a wise and loyal NYorker for many moons.

But when I hear even our gray beards bowing down to "the financial sector" and trembling at the thought of it "leaving the city" if they are overtaxed, I always have to do my counting exercises.

LET them leave! If a handful of creepy "banks" leave the city, do you think it's going to revert back to the woolly mammoths? That the maids and butlers will be forced to eat each other? Have ye no trust in capitalism? Yeesh.

Mar. 16 2010 10:29 AM
Lynn Sikora from asbury park nj

Wall streeters may pay a high percentage of the taxes, but what percentage of the income are they making?

Mar. 16 2010 10:27 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Why are we still quoting Moody’s on anything (re: USA triple A rating) when the fiscal crisis showed they don’t even know where they are pulling their numbers out of.

Mar. 16 2010 10:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

I'm sorry, the Manhattan Institute figures are in the MARCH 15 WSJ.

Mar. 16 2010 09:41 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

The state budget deficit will be 9 Billion (!) dollars for the year starting April 1 (Manhattan Institute, April 15, WSJ). And remember, Albany can't print money.

Mr. Ravitch's answer is to borrow 6 billion dollars and to change the fiscal year calendar dates(!) Does that sound like a solution to you.....or an evasive slight of hand?

Brian, ask Mr. Ravitch where the spending cuts are....I don't see them.

Mar. 16 2010 09:38 AM

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