BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP APRIL 20 - APRIL 26, 2018 23
CRIPPLING DEBT STIFLES ECONOMIC
New York’s debt burden is out of
control. In the next five years, we
will borrow approximately
$33.4 billion, which is
$10.7 billion more than
we will pay off during
that same span.
We are constantly
debt problem, and
there is seemingly
no end in sight.
The legislature just
agreed on a debt service bill that essentially
authorized what amounts
to a minimum credit card payment
earlier this week; but let’s face it, at
this rate, we will never be able to
repay our debt.
Even more troubling, New York’s
economy has not improved, our tax
base has shrunk substantially and
wasteful spending continues to
bloat our budget.
Borrowing money at the same
time the economy is shrinking is
a recipe for disaster. Annually,
New York’s 20 million taxpayers
are already on the hook for $2,632
each— money that could be used
towards paying down student
loan debt, rising food costs and
mortgages. We must immediately
reverse course before the state
falls any deeper into the red.
According to the state Constitution,
government-issued debt is
approved through ballot referendum
or the budget. This is a logical,
sensible way to ensure we don’t
borrow more money than we can
reasonably afford to pay back.
The problem is, each year the
governor disregards this common
sense safeguard and issues
enormous amounts of debt through
public authorities not subject to
state Constitution restrictions.
And, it’s not just a little extra to
fill the gaps; we are talking about
billions and billions of dollars.
At present, New Yorkers are on
the hook to pay back $52 billion in
money that was borrowed without
public referendum. Albany
is like a teenager making credit
card purchases without
his or her parents’
We’ll still be making
interest, long after
Andrew Cuomo has
moved out of the governor’s
Practices like disingenuous
are precisely how
New York accumulated the second
worst debt burden in the entire
Taking on debt is never optimal,
but when you must do so it needs
to be limited to an amount that is
affordable. There is a reason for
those built-in budget restrictions.
In fact, the state Constitution
specifically addresses how much
money the state can borrow each
I am proud to have co-sponsored
legislation (A.6844, Oaks) to prohibit
the practice of “backdoor
borrowing” and limit the amount
of revenue debt each fiscal year to
35 percent of the capital budget.
It’s easy to spend freely on shiny
new toys to impress constituents.
Real fiscal responsibility comes
from making hard spending cuts
and limiting debt to what’s absolutely
necessary. With all his talk
about closing loopholes, the governor
seems to be more interested in
bolstering his headline count than
protecting the long-term interests
of the state.
What do you think? I want to
hear from you. Send me your
feedback, suggestions and ideas
regarding this or any other issue
facing New York State. You can
always contact my district office at
315-781-2030, email me at kolbb@
nyassembly.gov, find me by searching
for Assemblymember Brian
Kolb on Facebook, and follow me
Brian Kolb is Assembly minority
84TH STREET FACING
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