Poll Question & Top Weekend Column

Poll Question

Last week we asked people if they thought illegal aliens ought to be entitled to healthcare under the proposed new system. An overwhelming 78% said ‘no’ while only 16% said ‘yes’. The rest were undecided.

This week we want you to guess what percentage of the general population in New York is paying attention to the Senate scandal? The underlying assumption is that most of the time the percentage of people who follow state government is very small — definitely fewer than 1 in 10 and probably fewer than 1 in 100 residents. Has coverage of the Senate fiasco gotten through to the public, do you think? If you have an opinion on what percentage of the population are paying attention, please vote.

Top Column of the Weekend

This weekend saw a continuing assault on the members of the State Senate by the state’s editorial boards and regular columnists. Empire Page subscribers will find links to those by Alan Chartock, Bob McCarthy and others on our links pages. But the one that all New York taxpayers ought to read appeared today in the Ithaca Journal: “Public pension time bomb ticking away” by Robert Julian.

The Journal identifies Julian as “semi-retired from Cornell University” [and] “president of Retirement Planning Consultants, an organization providing information and education on planning for retirement.” They state that Julian “has been researching, writing and teaching in the retirement-related field for more than 30 years.” You can tell. Julian lays out the “time bomb” in very clear straightforward tems.

He warns that local governments and school districts are going to have to increase their contributions to the state retirement fund and that means local taxes will have to increase to cover those costs or services will have to be cut. Just what we don’t want to hear. The economy remains weak, people who can afford to move out of the state are doing so in record numbers, and the folks who remain are going to have to pay more and more and more.

Will our political leaders step up to the plate to defuse this time-bomb? I won’t be holding my breath.

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