During crunch time, we put our hopes in the leader to pull out a win – the best athlete on the team, the quickest mind in the office, the most determined member of the family.

Well it’s crunch time for the New York state budget, but unfortunately, we’re not seeing any hero emerging to resolve this crisis. In fact, as a collective group, our elected officials are doing just the opposite.

Let’s take a look at some of the turning points in this game.

For one, the state budget is two months late. Do they act like heroes, dig in with a burst of adrenaline and go for a decisive victory, pull an all nighter to resolve the problem? No, they continue to pass budget extender after budget extender, without passing an actual budget.  Then when the governor’s threatens a government shutdown, they rush to push ahead whatever product they’ve got, whether it’s good or not.

Second, they need to reach a balanced budget and close the mounting deficit. Do they act like CEOs, make the tough decisions and willingly accept the consequences, in other words, cut spending?  No, they spend more to give more, adding new taxes, fees and assessments in a state that already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.

Third, they’ve been asked to approve a property tax cap, an idea already proven highly effective in neighboring Massachusetts. Do they recognize a good idea when they see it, give credit where it’s due and give the green light for implementation? No, they look for gimmicks that will make it more popular with certain constituent groups,  like circuit breakers that really are only a shell game benefiting a few.

New York’s families and businesses are struggling under the weight of the greatest property tax burden in the nation – 79 percent above the national average. A tax cap, in our mind, is a highlight of Gov. Paterson’s budget proposal, which must be why the majority leader took it out of his fiscal plan.

Then there’s a whole bunch of other last-minute legislation that hurts Upstate, such as a census change to count prisoners as residents of their original counties rather than as living in the county where they are incarcerated.

Good thing Judgment Day is coming. Only 126 days until Nov. 2 when we as voters can take back our state and choose some real leaders, some real heroes who will be there during crunch time and really deliver.  If you need to know who needs to hear from you TODAY click here. Send your elected officials a message that they either act like clutch players and vote NO on this bloated budget or we’ll send them to the bench, to the unemployment lines come November.