Green Party Urges NYers to Reject Gov. Cuomo’s Budget Attacks on Workers & Poor

Green Party of NY State leaders today called Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget an attack on working and middle class New Yorkers that should be rejected by state lawmakers.

“Cuomo’s budget is not about shared sacrifice. The people are forced to sacrifice. The richest 3% get more tax breaks. Cuomo is just recycling failed conservative policies of spending cuts and layoffs and tax cuts for the rich. It’s for Wall Street and it will deepen the economic hardships on Main Street . Cuomo’s budget is another version of the attacks on working families and unions that have given rise to massive protests in Wisconsin . We need similar protests here,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor in 2010.

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The Green Party has better solutions for the proposed budget deficit:

    1. Stop Rebating the stock transfer tax. Still on the books, the tax would raise nearly $15 billion yearly for New York . Wall Street created this mess, and Wall St. should clean it up.2. Single-Payer Universal Health Care. Instead of slashing Medicaid funding and increasing the number of uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers (an estimated 2.6 million), let us follow Vermont’s lead and institute a single-payer health care system which will cover all New Yorkers equitably and release counties from the single biggest drain on their budgets, the Medicaid cost. A recent state funded study concluded a single payer system would reduce health care costs in NY by $28 billion by 2019 compared to the recently enacted insurance mandate.  
Single-payer rally

Image by Public Citizen via Flickr

    2. Single-Payer Universal Health Care. Instead of slashing Medicaid funding and increasing the number of  uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers (an estimated 2.6 million), let us follow Vermont’s lead and institute a single-payer health care system which will cover all New Yorkers equitably and release counties from the single biggest drain on their budgets, the Medicaid cost. A recent state funded study concluded a single payer system would reduce health care costs in NY by $28 billion by 2019 compared to the recently enacted insurance mandate.
    3. Restore the progressive pre-1980 income tax structure. The wealthiest 1% of New Yorkers receive 35% of all state income, up from 10% in 1980; in NYC they have 44% and pay only 33% of the taxes. The rest of us have gotten worse off. Restoring the tax structure would fill state coffers with an additional $8-$10 billion a year, and allow us to rebuild main streets across New York . Plus, it would give 95% of New Yorkers a tax break!4. A Green New Deal for Full Employment. Instead of cutting employment, invest in public and cooperative businesses designed to stay in communities around the state and address the needs of the locality. New York lead the way in the 1930s and served as a model for FDR’s New Deal. Massive public investment to sustainably re-develop local economies, especially upstate, will create a healthy tax structure and quality of life for all New Yorkers. Making businesses publicly or cooperatively owned means they will have an incentive to focus on community needs. Full employment via public investment will help rebuild communities and spark further economic growth.

    According to Prof. Phil Harvey of Rutgers , a WPA style jobs program to create 500,000 jobs would cost about $14.3 billion – equal to the size of the rebate of the stock transfer tax. Wages would pay in the mid-teens per hour. Jobs would be tailored to meet the unmet needs of the community, such as child care, construction work (e.g., the rehabilitation of abandoned or sub-standard housing), conservation measures (e.g., caulking windows and doors in private dwellings), the construction of new affordable housing units, and parks improvements. The program also could expand and improve the quality of public services in areas such as health care, child care, education, recreation, elder care, and cultural enrichment.

    5. State Bank. Create a state bank akin to North Dakota ‘s – which has remained in the black throughout the financial crisis – and have it help New Yorkers and towns hurt by the credit crunch. A public bank would provide the capital to revitalize low-income neighborhoods and towns hurt by financial mis-dealings.

    6. Carbon Tax. Start collecting a carbon tax from polluters, and use the money to invest in renewable solar and wind technology. Some of the money should be rebated to consumers to offset the regressive nature of the energy tax.

    7. Legalize and Tax Marijuana. We could make New York a leader in a new cash crop, bring in more than 60 millions of dollars in revenue. More importantly, we would stop filling our prisons with nonviolent offenders that are overwhelmingly people of color. Hundreds of millions of dollars would also be saved by adopting the proposals of the Correctional Association to close unneeded prisons and expand work release.

Read the entire press release at Green Party New York.

4 Responses

  1. […] the rich are taxed too much already.  Cuomo refused to ever discuss repealing the rebate of the stock transfer tax.  He still doesn’t get it.  One. Term . […]

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