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Amo, amas, amat...

On the NYS budget deal, it almost seems like a Nancy Pelosi moment:

At the WSJ:

The governor's handshake deal with legislative leaders isn't yet enshrined into law, and important details about the spending plan won't be known until the bills are passed and signed.

Or maybe it's like the Bobby Short/Woody Allen video below.  You love, love, love it—AMAS, The Albany Mutual Admiration Society, has managed to produce a NYS budget and so everything is all sweetness and light:

On Sunday evening, at a news conference at his executive chambers in Albany, Mr. Cuomo sounded buoyant and relaxed. "I'm hoping that this spirit of love and euphoria that I feel is infectious and grows and continues," said Mr. Cuomo, giving a knowing grin to Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

"I hope you keep feeling it," said Mr. Silver, eliciting a hearty laugh from Mr. Cuomo.

Awwwww. Isn't that just great?

So what do we know about this deal?

The budget also closes a $10 billion gap without raising income taxes.

Period. This is interesting because the articles that originally appeared last night (like this one at the NYT) said that the budget would "address a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes or borrowing money" (emphasis mine). Funny—doesn't say that any more.

...the agreement sidestepped a few contentious issues, leaving them to be sorted out in the last three months of the legislative session.

The budget doesn't contain any caps on local property taxes, a key campaign promise of the governor's.

But...but...the NYT article from last night said, "[....] The budget doesn't increase taxes..." Hmmmm, there's no cap on property taxes....what could go wrong?

And while it assumes more than $2 billion in Medicaid savings, a fraction of that comes from across-the-board rate reductions to hospitals and other providers. About a $1 billion or more of Medicaid cuts haven't been fleshed out but exist merely as vaguely defined targets.

The budget also counts on $1.4 billion in negotiated labor savings and across-the-board agency cuts—both of which may never materialize.

Another interesting thing about the articles that appeared last night is that they did not explicitly state that the budget actually balanced. What they did say was, "The budget also addresses a $10 billion deficit..."  Is addressing a $10B deficit kinda like addressing the ball?

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called the budget "grounded in reality..."  We're just going to have to suspend our disbelief until we "see what's in the bill."

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