NY Governor Paterson’s Budget Protects Wall Street While Inflicting Pain on Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard

Hawkins Says Paterson’s Budget Protects Wall Street While Inflicting Pain on Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard

Calls to Stop Rebating the $16 Billion Stock Transfer Tax, Invest in job creation instead

Howie Hawkins, who is considering a run for Governor on the Green Party line, said today that Governor Paterson’s proposed budget was the wrong cure for the economic challenges facing New York.

“Paterson acts like the cause of our problems is excessive state spending on education and services, rather than the financial misdeeds of bankers and Wall Street combined with decades of excessive tax giveaways to the rich. Merely stopping rebating $16 billion annually to Wall Street speculators solves the budget deficit and gives us the money needed to invest in giving jobs to people and improving the quality of our schools. Paterson argues that this budget makes everyone feels the pain, but that is not true. Paterson wants to protect Wall Street rather than Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard,” Hawkins noted.

Hawkins called for raising taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. New York loses $16 billion in revenue annually to pay for two decades of tax cuts that have primarily benefited Donald Trump and other millionaires, while low and moderate income New Yorkers have seen their local property tax and sales taxes rise. Hawkins opposed the cuts in aid to upstate communities and New York City, saying that the tax hikes on the wealthy should be used to meet the state’s existing legal obligations (Sec. 54 of State Finance Law) to share 8% of its tax revenues with local governments.

Hawkins said the best way to control health care costs would be for the state to enact a single payer Medicare for All type of health care system. A recent state study found that by the end of the decade single payer would lower overall health care spending by $20 billion annually. Hawkins said that the state should continue reform efforts to ensure that Medicaid spending was targeted to help individuals rather than be used as a slush fund to reward the most powerful health care players. He also called for stronger efforts to cut costs through bulk purchasing of prescription drugs.

“New Yorkers, especially upstate communities, need jobs, real jobs that start next week and provide a paycheck. This is a job busting budget. The state also has to do more to help working families, the poor, and the elderly pay their housing costs. It should be the employer of last resort, hiring the unemployed to help rebuild our communities,” Hawkins added.

Hawkins supports increasing taxes on corporate polluters to make sure that they pay the environmental and health costs associated with their activities, rather than making taxpayers subsidize their harmful efforts.

Hawkins opposes the proposal to cut funding for the public colleges while allowing them to independently raise their tuition. Similar proposals for the California university system, once the best in the country, has resulted in massive tuition hikes while the quality of education has eroded.

“New York needs an educated workforce. We are supposed to be the land of opportunity. The children of too many families, especially people of color, are being denied the hope of building a better life,” added Hawkins.

Hawkins said the state should save money by closing prisons throughout the state while diverting nonviolent offenders into less expensive community programs that will provide them with needed training and education. He also called upon the state’s Congressional delegation to reject President Obama’s proposal for the largest military budget ever, instead slashing the budget to provide a domestic peace dividend to provide jobs and help local governments deal with housing, education and environmental needs.

For More Info: Howie Hawkins, 315 425-1019