CNN Falsely Claims Governor Paterson is Slashing Spending

Patterson Deep in ThoughtIn an article outlining the ridiculousness of New York State Governor David Paterson's budget proposal tax hikes, CNN misleadingly led with the following statement (emphasis mine throughout):

A budget plan by Gov. David Paterson that would plug budget shortfalls by slashing spending and raising taxes on items from sugary soft drinks to iTunes downloads is drawing criticism in New York.

Paterson may have proposed lower spending comparatively with year's past, he may have reduced spending, but he most certainly is not ‘slashing spending.' 

A majority of today's politicians have completely abandoned the concept of slashing spending, Democrats and Republicans alike.  Out of control spending is the very crux of our current economic crisis.  So, how a mistake like that, while seemingly innocuous, could pass the proofreading staff at CNN is a mystery.

The reality after the jump...

The reality of Governor Paterson's budget proposal is that he is trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap by actually increasing spending by $1.3 billion.  That's right, Paterson wants to close a massive budget shortfall by spending $1.3 billion more.  While that runs counterintuitive to most textbooks in Economics 101, and the pocket guide to common sense, it surely demonstrates that the governor is not reforming the government of New York State by ‘slashing spending.'

No, Paterson as we all know by now, is actually trying to close the massive budget gap by doing what Democrats do best:  Tax, tax, and more tax.  His plan aims to place fees and taxes on virtually everything one can imagine.  To its credit, the CNN report does outline these taxes, and highlights the resistance to such massive taxation by politicians on both sides of the aisle.  

As the article points out:

The proposed budget calls for 137 new or increased taxes, consolidation of more than a half-dozen state agencies and the closing of more than 10 state facilities, including six children, family and youth centers.

Perhaps had Paterson done as CNN suggests, cut spending in some manner, then 137 new or increased taxes would not be necessary.  On the contrary, the governor wants to tax New Yorkers on items such as:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Non-Diet Soft Drinks
  • iTunes Downloads
  • Cab Fares
  • Cable and Satellite Television
  • Movie and Sporting Events Tickets

If one is going to double the tax on beer and wine, won't that decrease the need for spending on cab fares?  Just a thought.

The tax on sugary juices and non-diet sodas is being referred to as an ‘obesity tax' in the media.  Democrats such as Paterson would like you to believe that they have your best interest in mind, as well as your children's, by imposing the tax as a way to dissuade consumers from wanting a Pepsi or Coke.  This form of logic would only hold true if there was an additional clause to the obesity tax, in which anyone currently within the acceptable weight range for their height, sex, and body type, did not have to pay the tax.  Scales could be placed at every grocery store register, and only the most obese would be taxed. 

And why, pray tell, is diet soda even exempt from the so-called obesity tax?  The lack of sugar in these diet carbonated drinks is not proven to decrease weight.  In fact, this point of contention is highly debatable, as can be seen over at WebMD.

Point being, David Paterson has not slashed spending with his budget proposal, he has done nothing more than slash common sense.