GPNYS Guv Cand hopeful Hawkins Says State Budget Should Focus on Making Wall Street Bail Out Main Street

Faults Lawmakers for Delay in Passing State Budget

Howie Hawkins, who has started collecting signatures from Greens to win the Green Party nomination for Governor, criticized state lawmakers today for supporting deep cuts to education, health care, and human
services while it continues to support tens of billions of dollars in giveaways to Wall Street and wealthy New Yorkers.

Hawkins said as Governor he would tax the rich to increase funding for local schools, parks, affordable housing, safety net programs, and especially jobs:

The Democrats and Republicans are shielding their Wall Street paymasters from taxes and balancing the budget by taking education from school children, jobs from workers, health care from sick people, and food and shelter from poor people.

“The Democrats and Republicans joined forces to bail out Wall Street and the biggest banks last year with trillions of dollars when their years of risky speculation and outright fraud caught up with them. But we are facing the deepest recession since the Great Depression. With more than 800,000 New Yorkers out of work, how come our state lawmakers are so unwilling to make Wall Street bail out Main Street and Martin Luther King Blvd., especially with the financial oligarchy reporting record profits and $150 billion in bonuses for a few thousand financiers?” asked Hawkins, a Teamster who unloads trucks at UPS in Syracuse.

Hawkins said that voters should hold incumbents responsible for their failure to pass a timely budget. “Everyone in New York has known for at least a year that the state would be facing a multi-billion deficit. Lawmakers instead prefer to create a sense of crisis in order to justify working class sacrifices and to extract more campaign contributions from special interests as they camp out at the Capitol. It’s just smoke screens as they engage in their closed-door deal-making that rewards the wealthy and powerful and sticks the bill to low and middle income New Yorkers. They keep on telling us they have reformed the budget process but it just gets worse and worse,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins noted that state lawmakers could immediately erase the projected $9 billion deficit, stop their budget cuts, and have billions of dollars left over for increase  school aid, jobs programs, and relief to local  governments if they just stopped rebating the $16 billion a year of the stock transfer tax that they send back to Wall Street speculators. An additional $20  billion a year could be raised by rescinding the tax cuts given primarily to wealthy New Yorkers over the last two decades.

Hawkins said the proposed cuts will deepen the recession and increase unemployment in New York. “We should be taxing the rich who are hoarding cash and financial assets instead of investing in productive enterprises and extending credit to small businesses and consumers. We should invest the increased tax revenues from the financial elite in a revitalized public sector and a new green economy. We need a jobs for all program in public works and services. There is plenty of work to do. We have too many unmet needs that the private sector has proven itself incapable of meeting, from a green reconstruction of sustainable water, sewage, energy, transportation, and housing infrastructure to providing education, child care, health care, and elder care commensurate to our people’s real needs.”

The Fiscal Policy Institute has pointed out that New York’s budget deficit is, in large part, attributable to the successive rounds of multiyear, back-loaded tax cut packages that were adopted between 1994 and 2000, and which are now reducing state revenues by about $20 billion annually. In 1972, New York State had a personal income tax with 14 brackets, ranging from a low of 2% to a high of 15%. Since then, New York has greatly flattened the state income tax – while shifting more of the tax burden onto regressive local property and sales taxes. FPI concluded last year that if NYS had instead indexed its tax brackets and its personal exemption for inflation, 95% of New Yorkers would be paying less in state income taxes but the state would be collecting $7.7 billion more in tax revenue each year.

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IW: The only way that the Green Party can regain ballot status in NY is to get 50,000 votes for their Governor candidate in 2010. This opportunity comes only once every four years, and it only applies to the Governor’s race. Gaining ballot status will enable the Green Party to run more peace candidates, more single-payer candidates, more anti-fracking candidates, and more sustainable energy candidates. The last time that the Green Party of New York State had ballot status it set the record for running the most Green candidates of any state.  The May 15, 2010 State convention will choose the Green Party Governor candidate. Long Island Green Party members  can meet the potential candidates at the May 5, 2010 Babylon Green party gathering at 7pmat the Unitarian Universalist Society of South Suffolk, 28 Brentwood Road, Bay Shore, Long Island, NY 11706.

One Response

  1. Howie certainly knows the talk and the walk, but he will get no coverage, recognition, or support from any but the hardest of hardcore Greens in NYS. How many races has he run? How many has he won? (None, if I recall.) Rather than pick a race he CAN win, and prove his bona fides as a competent legislator or official, he keeps running and losing in races beyond his pay grade and the public’s willingness to take a chance on him. He’s become the Harold Stassen of Green electoral politics in NYS. His last major race, as Senate candidate, made no impact, as he couldn’t figure out a way to get in the debates or even serious media coverage, which is the LEAST needed to be taken seriously, or even, as Lewis proved successfully, and McCourt nearly so, taken comically, as a plausible alternative to politics as usual.

    I predict that Hawkins, if the nominee, won’t even reach Aronowitz’s numbers, and will put the final nail in the GPNYS coffin. Hell, I’ll still vote for him, because he’ll be the guy closest to my positions. But as two-time prez nominee Adlai Stevenson said when told, “Governor, you have the vote of every thinking person!”… “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!” He went on to lose to Dwight Eisenhower in a landslide.

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