These two stories are on Drudge this morning, and they have a weird kind of symmetry to me. See what you think. First, from the New York Post, GOV PLOTS SECRET TAX HIKE ON RICH

GOV. PATERSON and legislative Democrats have secretly agreed on an $8 billion, two- year tax hike on individuals making more than $500,000 a year that will “sunset” around the time he plans to run for election in 2010, legislative sources told The Post.

Also under intense discussion yesterday as lawmakers rushed to complete a budget by April 1 is a proposal to raise the state’s 4 percent sales tax to 4.5 percent the total of which would jump to close to 10 percent in parts of the state with the addition of local sales taxes.

The sales-tax hike, too, would sunset at the end of next year or in early 2011, legislative Democrats said.

How can this be done in secret?

Democrats who control the Legislature and the governor’s office for the first time since the late 1930s plan to ram the budget through with virtually no debate or scrutiny using special “messages of necessity” issued by Paterson that will circumvent the legally required three-day waiting period designed to give lawmakers, and the public, time to review proposed new laws, several sources said.

As lieutenant governor and Senate minority leader, Paterson strongly opposed using the “messages” to cut off debate.

A Paterson spokesman yesterday refused to say whether the governor would use the procedure to ram through the budget.

I’m sure he’ll find his scruples overcome because of the financial urgency of the situation.

And then there’s this from Capital News: Schenectady mayor considers options, martial law over police woes

…Five Schenectady police officers recently accused of everything from driving drunk to beating up a man are leading city officials to look at taking drastic action to fix a department tainted by the few who may have acted illegally, like Darren Lawrence and Michael Brown who are accused of driving while intoxicated.

Currently, officials are reviewing the legal options and planning to present a full report in early April – options like a consolidated county-wide police force or bringing in the State Police.

The mayor said there is another option – and that would be declaring martial law. The governor would have to declare it and then the National Guard would come in. The mayor said it’s more for a transition to a new police force if that were to happen.

He said, “It may be that as a stopgap measure, that you would need military forces – State Police, National Guard.”

It’s got a banana-republic vibe to it, doesn’t it? No wonder gun and ammunition sales are going through the roof.

Advertisements