It was nice that Paterson and the legislature agreed to reform the Rockefeller laws, but there’s still that pesky budget to contend with. When last we looked, the budget gap had suddenly grown by $2.2 billion to more than $16 billion, and the Governor was threatening to fire 8,900 state employees to help close it. Now, as the lawmakers get back to work on it, the Gov is describing the cuts they’ll need to make as “life-threatening” — a strange choice of words, considering all the shit he’s been getting from the health-care workers’ union about cuts.
But what can he do? Big business interests have told their Albany vassals “no new taxes,” and Mayor Bloomberg has told him to lay off the rich. But word is circulating that Paterson will put the tax bite on the wealthy anyway. Sure, they can hurt him down the road — particularly with rich guy Tom Golisano bribing legislators to oppose him — but poll-wise he’s hurting really bad already. At least if Paterson goes down screwing the rich, he’ll be less hated than if he went down screwing the old, poor and sick. Then maybe he can come back as a talk-show host or something.