Our new governor slashes education funding for the city and we are just supposed to lump it.
He slashes funding for prisons upstate and he sets aside a $100 million fund for those unfortunate towns that have been making a living off the city's criminals.
If a school in the Bronx has to lose some of its teachers, too bad.
If an upstate prison is closed, the town gets a $10 million "transformation grant" to ease its pain.
And while Gov. Cuomo did not shrink from the "hard decision" to whack city schools, he is holding off on how many and exactly which upstate prisons will be closed.
This hard decision is being handed off to a "task force" that will make the determination after the budget has passed.
Just three weeks ago, Cuomo made a pronouncement as if from a mountaintop.
"An incarceration program is not an employment program," he declared in the State of the State speech. "Don't put other people in prison in order to give some people jobs."
City Democrats cheered, but upstate Republicans howled at the prospect of losing incarceration as an employment program.
"The decisions have to be made based on the impact of the closure," said state Sen. Betty Little, an Albany-area Republican.
Then Cuomo, who wants to outshine New Jersey's slashing Gov. Chris Christie, reminded himself that Democrats are going to support him anyway. The people he needs are the Republicans.
Cuomo scrambled down from the mountaintop into the mire of deal-making, proving again that the most influential special interest for any politician is himself. The most special interest is always self-interest.
By one account, the number of targeted prisons may be reduced from as many as 10 to as few as six, three of them small facilities in the city used to transition inmates back to the outside.
Work-release programs in the city would be scrapped so fewer upstaters lose jobs incarcerating city inmates - at prisons that should not be way up there in the first place.
Hey, the Department of Correctional Services is even ready to replace a closed prison's "work crews" with ones from another facility so the town will not lose the free labor cleaning its byways.
We lose teachers and they keep road gangs!
And all of this comes with a far bigger and more egregious inequity in the tax money we send to Albany and what we get back in funding.
Welcome to the reinvention of state government.
I like to believe Cuomo's righteous passion on the mountaintop was genuine. I do not doubt Cuomo wants to do what's right. I also do not doubt Cuomo wants above all else to do what's right for Cuomo.
I agree with all of that except for the part about Cuomo wanting to do right.
I don't think he wants to do that at all.
I think he wants to take care of himself and his natural constituents - the Wall Streeters and hedge fund managers who back him politically and financially.
Why else would he insist on more than a $2.5 billion school aid cut but refuse to keep in place a millionaire's tax that raises more than a $1 billion for the state?
Why would he talk a good game about closing prisons, then shirk the tough duty of picking which ones to close and giving that work to a commission?
No, there is nothing genuine about Cuomo other than his desire to aggrandize himself and enrich his corporate and Wall Street buddies.