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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

When it comes to fitness, getting off the couch is half the battle.

 

Plenty of people start each day with the best of intentions, but plans to eat healthy and get to the gym often fall by the wayside with even the most shoddy of excuses. But a New

Hyde Park native is bringing physical fitness to the front door with a mobile, personal traning regimen focusing on individualized one-on-one fitness, group sessions and corporate fitness. 

The Herricks School District recently concluded a series of contract negotiations with the administrators and teachers of the district. Though talks were reportedly difficult, both sides were able to come to an agreement.

 

However, at the Nov. 20 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, Board President James Gounaris revealed that another bout of negotiations taking place with teaching assistants, which have taken an unfortunate turn for the worse.


Sports

The students of Herricks High School were treated to a “Blast from the Past” as the Herricks High School Class of 1964 during this year’s Homecoming celebration.  Approximately 60 members of the class of 1964 arrived at the high school on homecoming day for a tour of their alma mater.  Most of these alumni had not been back to the high school since graduating 50 years ago.

 

All were impressed with the changes that have taken place and with the friendly demeanor of our high school students. One alumnus became teary eyed when he ventured out into the courtyard.

Despite a disappointing playoff loss against the Wantagh Warriors, Sewanhaka Indians Head Coach George Kasimatis, is pleased with his football team’s season. 

“I’m proud of my team,” he said. “But you are never satisfied unless you win the whole thing.”

 

The Indians faced a big challenge this year, moving up into Conference II left them as the new kids on the block, unfamiliar with the teams they would be going against. 

Kasimatis will have a tall task next year replacing graduating seniors, which made up most of his starting lineup. Kasimatis said most of the offensive line, such as Danny Gianotti, Adrian Gonzalez and Louis Segarra III, and the defensive line, such as Justin Alexandre, Peter LaTorre and Peter Militano are seniors, many of which have started multiple years for him. 


Calendar

Songfest - November 26

International Night - November 27

Blood Drive - November 29


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