The CSEA (The Civil Service Employees Union) just launched a campaign against Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal.  They have a less than informative commercial that claims the budget has no transparency, erodes decent jobs, harms communities, and diminishes services.

First, let’s be clear.  The governor’s budget plan holds the line on spending and avoids increases on any taxes and fees (these are good things).  It promotes a new pension tier that will save money for middle class taxpayers, and will help ease the burdens on school districts and local governments.  But let’s address the CSEA’s concerns directly, shall we?

No Transparency:  Well, if you’re that interested, the budget has an entire website, filled with thousands of readable pages, ready for your perusal.  That’s right; the budget has its very own website.  If you don’t want to make decisions based on things like, say, television commercials, anyone and everyone can feel free to do their own research through the direct source.  Read the language, have fun with it.

Erodes Decent Jobs:  How exactly is the budget eroding jobs?  It doesn’t, it promotes them.  The budget’s implementing a new pension tier which gives employees more options about what to do with the money from these “decent jobs”.  And for the record, the way Tier VI is crafted, people that make less in earnings will contribute less of their income toward a DB plan.  The more you make the more you contribute.  I think that is called progressive.

Harms Communities:  Under the 2012 budget, communities that are looking to keep programs, like the arts and music, in our schools could get their wish.  That doesn’t sound harmful to me.   A new pension system and mandate relief means schools could be more affordable.  Local governments could save money and save their taxpayers money by following the 2% property tax cap and stabilizing their communities.  Communities would improve as they attract new businesses and promote job growth, along with a growing tax base.

Diminishes Services:  Not once in Governor Cuomo’s address did he say he was cutting services.  He said he would adjust an expensive pension program and Medicaid.  He said new employees would have pension options (that’s right, he specifically mentioned new employees in the public sector).  If NY’s hiring, where does the CSEA think our services are going?

The 2012 budget, like Unshackle Upstate’s own 2012 agenda, looks to reduce spending and taxes.  NY cannot sustain the current pension system as it stands.  It has to continue to cut mandates, taxes, and fees.  This year’s budget does that.  This sounds good for communities, workers, and taxpayers.  I wonder what CSEA has been reading?