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State hopes dimming?

December 15, 2011 - John D'Agostino
In my Dec. 16 Publisher's notebook column, a point is made that no matter how much progress state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made, he still has serious obstacles ahead — and has failed in an obvious plan.

I am not alone in my views. In a Wall Street Journal interview last month, Fred Siegel, economic historian for New York City, said Cuomo is only making "cosmetic" reforms and "playing for time (and) counting on a recovery, which will solve their problems for them."

But recovery does not seem to be in the cards for our state, which faces a $3 billion deficit heading into 2012. Escalating salaries of public workers in the present and future are one of the major issues causing the gap.

"Spending is never ratcheted down," Siegel told the Journal. "It's unconnected to productivity. That can only be sustained by a boom or these extraordinary subsidies we're getting now from the Federal Reserve. But that’s gonna stop at some point. And then what happens?"

That is the $3-plus billion question for all New Yorkers.


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