Home Government Cuomo’s budget eliminates $1.3 billion gap, focuses on ‘critical investments’

Cuomo’s budget eliminates $1.3 billion gap, focuses on ‘critical investments’

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo revealed his proposed 2013-2014 executive budget and management plan that he says continues the balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting of the past two years.

The budget eliminates the $1.3 billion budget gap without adding new taxes or fees. It also caps increased government spending at 2 percent for the third consecutive year.

The governor’s budget also adds $889 million in education aid, which translates to a 4.4 percent increase.

Cuomo’s budget addresses New York’s workforce by raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.75 per hour. It also reforms the Workers’ Compensation system in an effort to save employers, local governments, and school districts more than $900 million.

“By making difficult decisions over the past two years we have brought stability, predictability, and common sense to the state’s budget process,” Cuomo said. “As a result, we are able to make critical investments to build a world-class education system, support job creating projects in all corners of the state, provide assistance to local governments, and rebuild communities that were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.”

Even with those investments, the budget proposal also promises nearly $974 million in savings from government redesign and cost control efforts.


    (A Restructuring to Make Them Universal, Non-Restrictive, Revenue & Tax Neutral, & Affordable,)

    In order to compete in the global economy and provide the jobs and revenues for economic recovery, it is necessary for U.S. companies to be relieved of the stifling twin burdens of healthcare and pension obligations. Likewise, local and state governments and their public authorities are going broke from their unaffordable healthcare and pension obligations and must be relieved of these burdens to maintain fiscal and social stability. The federal government must (1) provide practical, affordable, revenue neutral UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE [by expanding Medicare (eliminating Medicaid) and incorporating into it the best features of the best universal healthcare systems worldwide, with effective cost controls and operational efficiencies, medical records sharing, provisions for continual system improvement, a fee structure based upon quality care, hub diagnostic centers, ban doctor owned medical testing companies and all referral or product kickbacks from any source, end pharmaceutical and drug cost scams, adopt tort reform], restrict elective and cosmetic surgery, end needless cat scans and test duplication] (2) reform Social Security, (3) Adopt a Flat Tax system to afford them that would produce more revenue without raising current tax levels.

    AFFORDABILITY: Government should institute a GRADUATED FLAT TAX REVENUE SYSTEM with base rates set by the Congressional Budget Office and/or the Office of Management and Budget calculations to meet actual costs of all government obligations and programs including debt service. In addition there would be dedicated separate surcharges to cover the actual individual costs of the Healthcare, Social Security, and Defense Programs. This is the most feasible means to finance Universal Healthcare and Social Security, control Defense spending and restore fiscal and social stability. Moreover, said surcharges would create an electorate watchdog effect on exploitation, efficiency, effectiveness, and cost containment in these programs. Most tax credits and subsidies would be ended including those for agriculture, oil companies.

    (A) The graduated INDIVIDUAL FLAT TAX: would commence above the poverty level guidelines for individuals and families as published by the U.S. Department of Labor up to $250,000, another rate up to $500,000 and a third rate above that income level. All tax deductions, including mortgage interest, would be eliminated as would gift and estate taxes. This would be a graduated tax program based on fairness and the poor wouldn’t pay taxes. Increase FICA, if necessary.

    (1) One Flat Tax rate on domestic business income.
    (2) Another lower flat tax rate on profits from overseas operations and/or subsidiaries or joint ventures (to offset foreign taxes) conditioned upon repatriation of foreign profits to increase domestic liquidity, improve U.S. balance of payments, reduce current account deficits, and help pay for Universal Healthcare and Social Security.
    All individual and business tax shelters, loop holes, and tax havens would be eliminated (producing more revenue at lower tax rates) as would all business and private medical, hospital, and pension plan expenses. Qualified business capital investment for plant and equipment would be expensed via IRS schedules. Only business tax incentive credits for domestic job creation and R&D would be allowed. Big oil, agriculture, other special interests, and mortgage interest subsidies eliminated.
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    HCSS Page 2 of 2

    Social Security pension eligibility extended to age 67 except for disabled or indigent and benefits indexed according to need with the ineligible wealthy receiving tax credits for contributions. Other than Social Security, NO government, education, union, or employer pensions permitted (eliminates corruption and fraud and avoids unsustainable financial burdens). Additional Social Security option plans would be offered to increase benefits. Only single pension allowed. No double dipping. In addition to private retirement plans and Social Security, only Roth type IRA would be allowed individuals with authorized private sector regulated investment institutions with transparency, full disclosure, and fee competition. Mandatory tax free conversion of IRA and 401K for accounts under $400,000 into (1) Roth IRAs with a modest graduated conversion tax levy on those accounts over $400,000 based upon discounted present value of actuarial pension entitlement schedules that could be paid in installments or (2) transferred into a special government inflation protected bond issue with flexible retirement provisions on a pro rata basis (another Federal funding resource). [No restriction on ordinary private investments]
    This would increase government and private sector efficiency and liquidity, reduce overhead and risk, and help restore lost individual pension values from recession. Full disclosure and transparency requirements and minimum equity capital ratios would be set in all financial institutions and transactions and fair and equitable usury, bankruptcy, and home foreclosure (with judicial cram-down) laws set for protection of individuals.

    Furthermore, history shows that most great empires have succumbed to unaffordable foreign military adventures and profligacy and severe economic disparities at home. Consequently, the U.S. should reduce its foreign military obligations and military spending so it can afford decent healthcare, livable social security levels, superior educational and skill training systems, maintain living standards, enhance global competitiveness, aid innovation, and create jobs in all economic sectors, especially the high-tech light industrial sector.

    A nationwide High-tech Export Free Zone Light Industrial Job Development Program (EFPZ) for the country’s major urban centers (which contain over 70% of the population) that incorporates education, high-tech, and apprenticeship training partnerships between industry and public education systems and domestic outsourcing is the best vehicle to opportunity, equality, and prosperity.
    (copy available upon request)

    Harry L. Langer E: harrylanger@hllanger.com T: 212-517-5942


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