Paterson Swats Down Silver’s Tax-Hike Hopes

Sheldon Silver
Photo: Getty Images

Governor Paterson has taken up arms in one of Eliot Spitzer's old battles against assembly speaker Sheldon Silver today. Very shortly after Silver went on the radio to call for higher taxes to deal with the state's budget problem, Paterson said in a conference that he wanted to avoid exactly that. "The reason I'm avoiding taxes is because I think taxes are addictive," Paterson explained. "What happens is, when you start taxing, people start thinking of ways to spend money.…I would only use that as a last resort and don't want it to be the first option right out of the barrel." On this he's allied with Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (Joe Bruno's successor), and he's reliving a fight Bruno and Spitzer had with Silver back in March when the effects of the current crisis were beginning to take shape.

Silver, for his part, is using his usual lines of argument. On recalculating the year's budget, he advocates "a bit of a wait-and-see approach."

On an unrelated note, have you ever noticed that the assembly speaker kind of looks like a turtle?

PRO-TAX-HIKE SILVER GETS FISCAL WITH GOV [NYP]