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Roundup: Reform and deliver

   Today's Buffalo News editorials are on about the New York state budget, specifically its Empire Zone economic development program, and the federal budget, specifically the money problems faced by theGov_paterson U.S. Postal Service.

   The lead, "Careful reform needed", argues that proposals from Gov. David Paterson [right] to changethe rules of Empire Zone benefits, mostly tax breaks for new and relocated businesses, are a good idea for the future. New York has to offer such breaks precisely because its taxes are so high, and such a disincentive for new businesses to lcate here or existing ones to expand. But new rules cannot be imposed retroactively on businesses that have already made siting, investment and hiring decisions based on the old rules.

   But we cannot afford for our state to develop a reputation as an unreliable business partner, one that changes the definition of success depending on political whim. This is particularly true in New York, where high taxes and other factors require some positive effort to make us competitive with other regions.

- Gov. Paterson's press statement on the Empire Zone program.
- The Empire State Development page on existing Empire Zone rules and regulations.
NewsdayThe Albany Times UnionThe Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and The New York Post all attack Paterson and legislative leaders for their secretly reached budget agreement, one that fails to really cut spending or address the state's many structural deficit problems.

   The second editorial, "Deliver help to the mails", argues that Congress should not rush to approve the Postal Service's request to cut mail delivery back to five days a week from six. Even if the outfit, Usps losing all that business to e-mail and electronic bill-paying, is going broke.

   Any such change also cannot be made without a very open process and input from businesses and others on what day to skip would make sense for them, not just for the Postal Service.

   The USPS press release on the service's fiscal woes, and other steps it is taking or may take to address them, is here -- in, irony of ironies, PDF form.
   Elsewhere, opinions supporting the idea that mail delivery can be cut back to five days a week include those in The Miami Herald, the Racine [Wis.] Journal Times, the Fort Myers [Fla.] News-Press. Those opposed include the Walla Walla Union Bulletin and the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.

-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer



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