Facts? We Don’t Need No Steekin’ Facts

October 16, 2013 Congress

The current craziness in Washington would be bad enough if it were based on actual facts. It isn’t. Nevermind that “austerity” as a policy emphasis is counterproductive while the economy is still sluggish, unemployment remains high, and the economy could be more robust without inflation … despite the political rhetoric and the conventional wisdom from […]

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Some Final Numbers on the Albany County Nursing Home

March 23, 2013 Accounting

We’re in the end game regarding the Albany County Nursing Home (ACNH). As I’ll lay out in another post shortly, when the key numbers are votes … But in this post, we’ll dispense with some bogus, and seriously misleading, numbers that advocates of keeping the Nursing Home open have been throwing around the last month […]

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Two New York Counties Proceed With Unburdening Themselves of Nursing Homes

March 22, 2013 County Government

Yesterday, the Committee that reviews certificate-of-need applications for the NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council approved the applications that would move two county nursing homes to private ownership. Alice Hyde Hospital, in Malone will be building a new larger nursing home combining their current capacity with that of the Franklin County Nursing Home, which […]

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Keeping Watch for Local Government Fiscal Stress

December 2, 2012 Accounting

New York’s Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli has issued a draft proposal for identifying local governments at risk of fiscal stress. An earlier report touches on local fiscal distress. And here, former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky discusses the earlier Comptroller’s report. It’s a good idea, and given the local governments that have already gotten themselves in trouble the […]

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Other NYS County Nursing Homes Being Sold

June 6, 2012 Budget

Despite intense objections, the Essex County, NY Board of Supervisors has voted 12-6 to sell its nursing home, Horace Nye. The 100 bed facility loses about $2 million per year. The sale price is $4.05 million. Essex County is also seeking an increase in its sales tax rate (from 3.75 to 4.0 percent). Mere coincidence? […]

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Chronically Confident Calculations

May 29, 2012 Budget

In Bias in Government Forecasts, Jeffrey Frankel, an economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School asks the question, “Why do so many countries so often wander far off the path of fiscal responsibility?” In his the full paper at the Oxford Review of Economic Policy Frankel details how national governments (with very rare exceptions) propose consistently optimistic […]

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Role Reversal in Rockland County?

May 10, 2012 Bond Rating

So right after Moody’s downgraded Rockland County’s rating (a lot), the Republican County Executive Scott Vanderhoef blamed the local Senator, Democrat Sen. David Carlucci because he would not support an increase in the sales tax: We regret that State Senator Carlucci was unwilling to fight for the financial stability of Rockland County by passing the […]

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Big Credit Downgrades Can Say Two Things, One About the Rated, One About the Rating Agency

May 10, 2012 County

Paul Greaves on Twitter on the Moody’s downgrade from A2 to Baa3 of Rockland County, NY: Fundamental problem with super downgrades like Rockland County – investors buy munis for capital preservation, diversity and stability. Greaves is right. But where do abrupt downgrades come from? Either something abruptly changed in financial condition of the organization being […]

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The Tail of the Recession

April 6, 2012 Cities

Even though the most recent “Great Recession” is officially over and even though it appears we are slowly emerging from its aftermath, governmental finances have not escaped its gravitational pull. The recession was bad enough. Many communities, which were economically strapped to begin with, started with a small buffer and are just now running out […]

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“Everything Has Changed.” Albany County Gets to Try Again, but the Bar Will be Even Higher

April 6, 2012 County Government

“Everything has changed.” Well, New York’s Public Health & Health Planning Council did not reject the Albany County Nursing Home application. As predicted here yesterday, they deferred it. But the Committee still heard testimony both for and against the application and they discussed it at some length. However in the vote of the Establishment and […]

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