Last week, Governor Spitzer announced his plan to unionize informal daycare workers as part of his "Labor History Month." Unfortunately, in a clear example of a state leader placing politics ahead of taxpayers, the governor made no mention of the costly implications on our already out-of-control state budget. The plan, which will add 60,000 household daycare providers to union rolls, will further threaten our ability to rein in spending and alleviate high taxes that have forced businesses and residents to flee our state.
While families independently hire these individuals, they are currently subsidized by government grants. Unfortunately, the costly implications will extend far beyond normal pay and benefits. Unions will now be able to advocate for additional government subsidies to fund daycare operations, and with the additional political influence that comes from 60,000 new members, they will be able to expand upon the $900 million in government subsidies.
This, of course, means even higher taxes for New York residents. Currently, we are at a critical juncture in New York history. State debt will dramatically increase over the next five years due to excessive spending, and New Yorkers pay the highest taxes in the nation. A recent analysis by the Business Council of New York State found that the state had the highest per capita tax burden in 2005, at $5,770 per person, 36 percent above the national average and 7 percent over Connecticut, which has the second highest. The same study also found that New York has the highest spending per person and third highest debt burden.
It’s clear that our state has been in desperate need of fiscal discipline for quite sometime. High taxes and seemingly limitless unfunded mandates have forced businesses and young adults to seek opportunity in surrounding states with more attractive economic environments. I urge my fellow legislators and the Governor to rein in our spending, and alleviate the burden we are placing on future generations. Despite the Governor’s campaign promise to do just that, this executive order provides further evidence that not everything changed on day one.