TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUPS CONDEMN NEW YORK INCLUSION IN NORTHEAST INTERSTATE DAIRY COMPACT | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUPS CONDEMN NEW YORK INCLUSION IN NORTHEAST INTERSTATE DAIRY COMPACT

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: John Frydenlund
December 18, 1998

(202) 467-5300

 

The following is the joint statement of Thomas A. Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste and Pete Sepp, Vice President for Communications of the National Taxpayers Union, issued in response to legislative action to bring the State of New York into the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact:

            “We are extremely disappointed that Governor George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have conspired to create a double-deal that spells double trouble for New York’s taxpayers and consumers.  Not only will New Yorkers be forced to pay higher prices for milk, they will also be gouged by a pay raise for elected officials.  Because the Speaker caved in on his feigned opposition to the state’s participation in the milk pricing cartel, there truly is no “silver” lining to this dark cloud hanging over citizens’ heads.

“The Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact is a government-run price-fixing scheme that belongs in the history books next to the old Soviet Five-Year Plans.  And, it certainly doesn’t belong in the policy playbook of a state whose elected leader is supposedly committed to the free market.

“Now, more than ever, New York’s entry into the Compact is impossible to justify.  This fall, milk prices paid to farmers have been well above previous record highs, far exceeding the current minimum price floor imposed by the Compact.  At the same time, the cost of feeding dairy cattle is extremely low.  This combination has created record high profits for dairy farms in New York and elsewhere.  Furthermore, Congress recently authorized $200 million in direct payments to U.S. dairy farmers, which will mean an extra $15 million in income for New York dairy farmers when milk prices decline from record levels in 1999.

“Governor Pataki’s push for a Compact milk tax at a time of record-high dairy farm profits and forthcoming federal subsidies is a slap in the face to the taxpayers who elected him to a second term.  To make matters worse, taxpayers who turn the other cheek will be slapped with the costs of Speaker Silver’s bloated pay raise scheme.

            “This year, New Yorkers had to work until May 16th — nearly a week later than the rest of the country — just to pay their taxes to all levels of government.  Thanks to this special-interest sellout, taxpayers have a lot less hope that they’ll get to keep more of what they earn next year.” 

 

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