Have other New Yorkers been keeping abreast of Pataki’s recent budget veto spree? It seems like he’s trying to piss everyone and their mother off by both tremendously cutting spending on state services and also cutting tons of tax cuts. Some of his spending cuts include $650 million stripped from Medicaid and $4.6 million from legal services for poor and low-income New Yorkers. The New York State Bar Association is decrying the veto, saying that if allowed to stand, it will result in “a drastic reduction in legal services to the poor.” As if poor folks in New York don’t have a hard enough time already accessing legal services.
Apparently, much of this is part of an attempt on Pataki’s part to show just how fiscally conservative he can be and to demonstrate that, even as a lame duck, he’s still got some punch left in him – all with a view to bolster his 2008 presidential bid. Let’s hope that it backfires, as this NY Times news analysis suggests it might:
The governor’s strategy is not without its risks, especially for someone who is still flirting with a run for president. Vetoing more than $1 billion in tax cuts is not the kind of thing that plays well in Republican primaries, and is the kind of factoid that has been known to make its way into attack ads. How will the veto of $200,000 for a tractor rollover protection program play with those Iowa farmers he has been courting?
Let’s also cross our fingers and hope that Spitzer (who seems pretty much set to take the governorship in November) is a far sight better than Pataki. I admittedly don’t know too much about him, but somehow he makes me a little nervous. As I suppose most politicians do, especially the white male variety.