Thursday, January 8, 2009

State of the State: Lacking in Substance

How impressive that Gov. Paterson memorized such a lengthy speech, but what a shame it didn't have more substance.

I've always thought everyone should have a few memorized poems handy - just in case they're suddenly gripped by passion, yet have nothing interesting to say. So our Gov. should be forgiven for reciting poetry during the 2009 State of the State. However, in these difficult economic times, we expected more realistic goals and specific solutions to go along with pomp and circumstance.

I was expecting Gov. Paterson to have a more clarified vision of his Obesity Tax. Though he's got the right idea, it's not soundly implemented. Why tax Coke for its sugar content, but leave Diet Coke, with its dubious artificial sweeteners, untaxed?

Here are a few other things I was expecting, hoping to hear during the State of the State:

Gov: All elected officials will have a 15% decrease in salary. So a NY Senator gets $68,000 instead of $80,000. [Gov turns to the Senate] That won't be too bad, right? [The Senate stands up for sustained applause]

Gov: I'm assuming the teacher's unions want nothing less than improved NY education, and don't care about protecting the archaic tenure system. From now on, we will have a merit system that will weed out the bad teachers from public schools, we will remove the unnecessary Board of Regents, and we'll put charter schools in the Northern NY region, especially in counties hardest hit by the local economy. [Teacher's unions, picketing outside, drop their placards, and cheer.]

Gov: I'm OK with the minimum wage staying at $7, since we need small business to be able to hire a large workforce. However, the NY work force working for minimum wage will receive earned income tax credit. They may have a $20,000 a year job, but they'll be getting at least $5,000 extra in a tax break. [Small business owners, listening from TVs at their business, cheer.]

Gov: We have a "clean energy cluster" in Northern NY. Right now, windpower is now saturating that cluster. Growing alongside the wind facilities, I'd also like to see biomass facilities. We need a balance between the various clean technologies for two reasons: 1) We should avoid sprawling wind turbines, and 2) Biomass often provides more jobs than windpower.

Gov: And to avoid the over-saturation of clean tech facilities in Northern NY, we will also install nanotechnology facilities in the Northern NY region, especially in counties hardest hit by the local economy.

Gov: We will have total broadband in Northern NY by 2010.

Gov: In conclusion, "Do not go gentle into economic blight! And rage, rage against Pepsi, Coke, and Sprite"