March 25, 2003
While the New York Times article below assigns no
responsibility to the New York judiciary for its state's pending
financial collapse, we thought it interesting for our readers to view how
"government works," a euphoniums for, "doesn't work."
One could reasonably suspect that the below fairly
describes the financial condition of their own government. For
instance, California is facing a $34,000,000,000 debt, that at a best case
scenario of raising taxes and cutting services, still fails to meet its budget.
Things are taking shape in America, following the trend to eventual
collapse of all nations in history - that of
financial irresponsibility. -Ron Branson
* * *
New York Times
New York State could run out
of cash in May, and government could be forced to shut down. In most
states, an emergency like that would lead to action, even if it were just a
clumsy attempt to paper over the revenue gaps. Elected officials would be
meeting constantly, and leaders conferring intensely. There would be committee
hearings and people scurrying around negotiating a path through the looming
difficulty. Is that what's happening in Albany these days? Not hardly.
A short-term solution to deal with New York's fiscal Mayday is not
available because there are no short-term solutions in Albany. Instead, there is
only one big Gordian knot, and in one final burst of energy, that knot is
unraveled and everything important on the agenda is knitted together by Gov.
George Pataki; Joseph Bruno, the State Senate majority leader; and Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver.
In the interim, nothing really happens. The two Republicans are trying to
goad Mr. Silver into calling for tax increases and agreeing to a lot of
borrowing. The lone Democrat - Mr. Silver - is using the desperation of the two
Republicans as his strongest piece of string for the final round.
The Legislature itself has almost no role in this game. Some people have
elegant titles, leadership posts or positions on the Ways and Means or budget
committees. But here the jobs entail special stipends, bigger offices and
virtually no functions at all. ....
Behind those walls, like political termites, the big three and their staffs
are said to be working away. The big tangled knot in which all issues are
entwined for one big end-of-the-year deal is already enormous. It includes the
critical budget for public education - Mr. Pataki has publicly proposed a $1.2
billion cut, and educators are leaning on Mr. Silver to save them.
It also enfolds rent control; that has nothing to do with the budget, but
Mr. Silver needs it extended and the governor sees it as a trading chip. Because
it is in the knot, there is no plan for the committees charged with overseeing
rent control to have anything to say about it.
Mr. Pataki wants to borrow against the tobacco suit settlement
to help plug the governmental gaps. This is like using your home equity loan to
pay for groceries. Mr. Silver wants shorter-term borrowing, which is more like
getting a loan from your relatives to buy the groceries.
But Mr. Silver's call for a slightly less irresponsible financial plan is
mainly another chip to use in the great bargain to come. These choices are being
made on a budget that has a foundation that would get a chief executive
arrested. There are more than 40 authorities or entities that operate "off
budget," which means that the public has almost no access to the details.
In a document called the state "tax expenditure report," a list of
exemptions for various industries totals $29 billion, according to State Senator
Liz Krueger of Manhattan, who has made this a personal mission. But the list
never comes up for debate because it is not part of the knot.
The real scandal in Albany is that all this secrecy and lack of
participation sees to make the decision-making more clumsy and irrational. The
budget is late every year. New York's 19 million people are represented by a
state government that is neither democratic nor efficient - short-term or
long-term. There is no excuse not to open the doors.
Now why is it that we at J.A.I.L. would
make an issue of the above report? It is because we desire to show our readers
the failure of politics in governing a nation. While the politicians abrogate
their responsibilities to openly represent the people for political reasons,
political wrangling goes on secretly behind closed doors among three politicians
even in view of a pending financial doom that will effect everyone in New York.
J.A.I.L., with its ripple-down effect, will have great
positive effect upon all state and local governments, placing priorities on
realities for the benefit of the people rather than politics. The fact is,
J.A.I.L. should have been written in our original Constitutions, both state and