FEBRUARY 1, 2010
Statement from Governor David A. Paterson on President Obama's Federal Budget Proposal
"The federal budget that President Obama delivered today represents a blueprint for economic and fiscal recovery. His proposals to freeze discretionary spending and create a bi-partisan deficit reduction commission represent important steps toward addressing the fiscal mess that President Obama inherited from the Bush administration.
"In addition to laying the foundation for long-term responsible budgeting, President Obama has also put forward a bold job-creation and economic recovery agenda that will help put Americans back to work. I look forward to reviewing these and other proposals in the President's budget more comprehensively in the coming days and weeks.
"Governors and state legislatures across the country are grappling with severe budget deficits during the current economic downturn. The more than $25 billion for state fiscal relief included in President Obama's budget is a clear signal that he understands the key role that state governments play in supporting economic growth and providing critical public services. While hard choices will still need to be made to balance New York's budget, this aid would help mitigate some of the most difficult actions I proposed in my Executive Budget, which were put forward only out of sheer necessity in order to close an over $7 billion deficit. President Obama's fiscal relief proposal is critical to the economic and financial recovery of states in every corner of our country. It is of such vital importance that it simply cannot wait, and I urge Congress to act as quickly as possible to enact necessary state fiscal relief into law.
"While fiscal relief is a top priority for New York's federal agenda, President Obama's budget includes other important economic recovery initiatives that deserve swift action. The proposed tax credits for middle-class families and small businesses will provide critical support to those who have struggled the most during the recession. The President's budget also aims to make smart investments in infrastructure, research and development, and clean energy similar to those we are making right here in New York, which will create new jobs and help our nation compete in the global economy.
"I urge President Obama and Congress to make economic recovery a top priority in the coming weeks, and to ensure that relief for state governments grappling with severe budget deficits is a key part of any final legislation. Swift action is needed to put our country back to work, and the proposals in President Obama's budget represent a significant step forward toward accomplishing that important goal."