The howls of anger and indignation you heard last night echoing from the Bronx to Buffalo is the reaction from special interests throughout the state to Gov. David Paterson's proposed budget.
While raising taxes $1 billion, the plan also cuts spending $5.5 billion.
You don't cut spending that much without stepping on some toes.
Typical of the "cut everybody but us" reaction was captured by the Albany Times-Union:
"Gov. Paterson is to be commended for his leadership in making the tough choices necessary to address a significant budget gap for the upcoming state fiscal year," said Peter Baynes, executive director of the state Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials. " ... NYCOM, however, strongly objects to proposed cuts in AIM funding, as this program is a key element to controlling municipal property taxes."
Paterson has proposed a series of cuts to local governments, including a 2 to 5 percent cut in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities payments (AIM). Paterson wants to totally eliminate AIM for New York City.
Locally, Assemblyman Steve Hawley got into the act and spoke up for snowmobilers.
"I was pleased to hear the governor call for a moratorium on land acquisition," Hawley said in a statement. "Yet, raiding one million dollars from the snowmobile fund to balance the budget is an unacceptable infringement on upstate sportsmen. It was unacceptable last year when the governor proposed it, and it's unacceptable this year."
The Buffalo News reports that legislators, especially Democrats, are reacting harshly to the proposed budget, saying it's already dead.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has been splitting more and more from fellow Democrat Paterson, rebuked the governor's cuts, saying they "go too far [and] make life more difficult" for New Yorkers, especially the "most vulnerable and least fortunate citizens."
"He's tried to politically pin everything that's wrong with government on us. I don't like it. I don't think any of my colleagues like it," said Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, D-Queens.
Besides local government and snowmobilers, the budget proposes cuts to education, health care and the environment.
Education spending would be cut from $21.6 billion to $20.5 billion. The Times-Union got this reaction:
"This budget proposes the largest cut to our children's schools in the history of the state, and yet again asks our children to bear the unbearable burden of balancing the state budget," said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education.
Turn to any news site in New York this morning, and you will find unhappy people talking about protecting their own interests.
It will be interesting to see what alternative the Legislature puts forward.