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Kicking The Can Of Debt

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery. — Charles Dickens

 

We hear the stories again and again.  Parents spend their entire adult lives preparing their children for adulthood.  We shepherd them to rewarding careers and impart valuable knowledge about how to best manage money only to see these same young people get into financial trouble. The truth is that the lessons on spending and saving are always the most difficult to teach.  In particular, too many young people get into trouble with credit.  It’s bad enough that they start with mountains of student debt, but it’s worse that banks offer them credit lines that they are neither ready for nor can repay. Let’s face it, credit separates you from the reality of your financial situation. It lets you kick that can of debt down the road and that’s when problems start.

 

The same can be said of government.  Before anything, let me start by sharing some more good news: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services upgraded New York State’s general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘AA+’, the highest rating since 1972.   That means that in recent months all three major credit rating agencies – Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P – have upgraded New York to the highest ratings in decades. 

By doing so, they’ve independently validated all the work we’ve done these past four years.  The bad news (and there’s always some) is that there exists a ship of fools who are already chomping at the bit to go shopping.  As unbelievable as it sounds, they simply will not acknowledge that borrowed money must eventually be paid back.  They could care less, because when the piper comes to call on future New Yorkers, they won’t be around.  They’re perfectly willing to pass the buck to those who will never vote for or against them anyway.

 

That’s why I feel like an alarmed parent.  When you sent me to Albany four years ago, you made it clear that our number one priority, bar none, was to get New York’s finances in order.  There were no money trees growing in anyone’s backyard.  State government was drowning in debt, obligations could not be met, and out of control spending was fueled by more than $14 billion in new taxes and fees.  And with all that money, they still couldn’t deliver on-time or balanced budgets. So you sent us to Albany and we turned it around.  We closed billion dollar budgets gaps by re-working contracts, cutting mandates, and weeding out waste.   We showed fiscal restraint, we compromised and we made hard choices – and we did it all without raising a single tax or fee.  In fact, we even found a way to cut taxes for millions of middle class New Yorkers.

 

The answer to our problems lay within us all along and it was called fiscal discipline.

 

Now, quite frankly, we have a slew of Monday morning quarterbacks who would throw it all away.  They see the balanced budgets and the outstanding credit ratings and they propose a return to the ways of old.  Quite frankly, they’re acolytes of New York City Mayor de Blasio so they flash their questionable credentials, dizzy us with tax and spend formulas, and promise voters a snake oil that will cure all our ills.  They want us to spend our way to prosperity.  Don’t buy it.  We know the truth.

 

The incomparable children’s author Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  That would be the case here.  New York must continue its fiscal restraint, controlling spending and capping taxes. And we definitely cannot let the aura of good credit tempt us into kicking the can of debt down the road.  We know what will work because it has worked.  Now if we could just get that ship of fools to set sail … without us.


News

School spirit was at an all-time high when community members joined students, administrators, faculty and staff for Sewanhaka High School’s annual homecoming parade and game.

 

The festivities kicked off with a Pep Rally on Sept. 19 on the school’s athletic field and continued on Sept. 20 with a parade that featured colorful banners and beautifully constructed floats based on this year’s “countries” theme. 

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”


Sports

The Hicksville boys volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by topping Sewanhaka in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13. 

 

“We lost the first few matches this year but bounced back to win the last three,” said Hicksville’s second year Head Coach Kevin Bunting. “We have a young team—we lost three starters last year. We have no seniors on this team, but we have three juniors,” he added. Bunting noted that it will bode well for next year’s team when they have even more experience to build on.

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - October 1

Silver Sneaker Fitness - October 2

Live Music - October 3


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com