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March 23, 2009

My Turn: Government over-spending hurts us all

This week's "My turn" column is by Rob Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Otsego County Chamber.

We are facing some of the most challenging times most of us have witnessed. All around, we see things we thought were solid fall apart right before our eyes due to greed, lax enforcement and limited personal responsibility.

This is both a threat and an opportunity. At The Otsego County Chamber, our mission is to assist in developing a future that will make our children and grandchildren proud of what we have left them.

To do so, we must take personal responsibility to return basic logic to the role government plays in the lives of our families, employees and citizens.

It is our duty to educate our friends, neighbors and employees how the New York spending glut directly and indirectly affects their paychecks, their ability to advance their careers, the environment they will leave their heirs and our region's economic stability.

New York's financial crisis is not one of revenue, it is one of spending. The cost of government and education continues to outpace the economic growth of our businesses and citizens.

Until the spending binge is controlled, our economy will not be able to develop the economic opportunities to allow for personal income growth in this state.

New York tends to fund itself by adding small fees and taxes on a large variety of items that blur the overall tax bite. These back-door taxes only hide the real cost of government and its need for money.

By example: Look how multiple proposed fees would impact a family moving from Westchester to Otsego County.

What may have been a two-mile trip to the train now has become 50-mile round trip from a new home to the new job. Add to that, now one needs snow tires, maintenance costs on the car increases, and the resale value decreases.

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