Sunday, June 19, 2011

SRO at Staten Islanders for Real Budget Solutions & Against the Cuts Town Hall

A grassroots group has formed to fight the budget cuts - Staten Islanders for Real Budget Solutions: Against the Cuts. On Tuesday, June 14th a standing room only crowd overflowed the 350 seat People's Town Hall Meeting at the JCC on Manor Road. There was a presentation by an economist on where the money really is, followed by people speaking to the cuts and what it means to them.

Our message -

* The poor, working and middle class are paying the price for a crisis that we didn't create. This is simple economics. The answer to the crisis is on the revenue raising side - and that doesn't mean from us. We shouldn't be responding the oft asked question: What should we cut? Following the suggestions of the Beyond May 12th Coalition document, we would like to present an Alter Budget to be delivered by a Staten Island economist who spent 10 years at the Federal Reserve and many more as an economist for Swiss bank.
* We should not pit one agency or service against another. We shouldn't get our piece of the meager pie and go away. We will speak about our issues, our cuts - in one loud voice.

With one voice and many thanx, Loretta Prisco



Alternative Revenue Solutions
Simple:  Budgets are made of 2 things: revenue and expenses.  If there is a shortfall, there are 2 ways to go – raise revenue or cut expenses.  We say “raise revenue”.  These taxes would have little effect or no effect on Staten Islanders, by the way.
Real Revenue Options for 2012
Counter the most drastic cuts immediately
       End subsidies to Big 5 Banks……..……....$100 million
       Close hedge fund loopholes……………….$320 million
       Cut NYC contracts to Big 6 Banks..……....$60 million
       Electronic mortgage recording system
                  must pay fees owed NYC.……………………..$70 million
       Tax millionaires……………………………….....$450 million
       Spend from our $3 billion surplus……$1 billion
                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                     Total $2 billion
(May 12 coalition alternative budget plan: Strong Economy For All, Center for Working Families, Fiscal Policy Institute, Good Jobs New York, New Deal for NY)
More Ambitious Options
Invest in our city and its people to rebuild the economy
       Restore commuter tax…….…………....$735 million
       Establish progressive
commuter tax…………………….……...$1.3 billion
       Make insurance companies pay
taxes like other businesses………...…$300 million
       Increase personal income taxes
for the wealthy……………………………...$735 million
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                           Total $2.07 billion  (Independent Budget Office)

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