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LETTERS: Paterson's fiscal responsibility and more

The governor

deserves a break

Gov. David A. Paterson has borne the brunt of much criticism for a long time, the latest having to do with withholding funds from school districts. The censure is misplaced.

The elected officials on the state and local levels are the real culprits. Their bickering, partisanship and utter disregard of the realities of the economic situation are the basic source of the problems. The governor, recognizing the circumstances, has done his job and acted in a forceful and proper manner.

Rather than heaping abuse on him for doing his job, we should be grateful that there is someone at the helm who is ready and willing to do the job despite the criticism and maltreatment being heaped on him by "do nothing" elected officials and the media.

Edwin J. Kliegman

Massapequa ParkPayroll tax rollback doesn't go far enough

As the MTA announces massive service cuts and layoffs due to a $383-million hole in its budget - partly because the original MTA payroll tax didn't raise enough revenue - state Sen. Brian X. Foley (D-Blue Point) introduces a bill to reduce the tax ["MTA tax relief bill," News, Dec. 16].

It's a political attempt to make voters think he's against the MTA payroll tax, when he actually voted to create it. Regardless, Foley's partial reduction does nothing to bail out small businesses, whose owners are struggling to keep their doors open during these difficult times. Only a full repeal of the tax would save us.

Richard M. Bivone

East MeadowEditor's note: The writer is chairman of the Long Island Business Council.

Stop strangling legitimate businesses

Let me get this straight: The Town of Oyster Bay passes a law making it illegal to pick up day laborers, and there's a problem . . . why? How about stopping the companies that use these laborers and audit their books for unpaid taxes and workers comp? What about homeowners who would rather pay a day laborer than a legitimate taxpaying company - the ones that support our schools, parks and now the MTA? I have nothing against anyone seeking a job, but honest taxpaying businesses are being strangled out of existence, and this underground economy gives lawbreaking contractors an unfair advantage.

Dennis N. Pekoff

WantaghSo don't sue him

Education groups are suing Gov. David A. Paterson over his delay of $582 million in school aid and STAR property-tax reimbursements ["Guv on funds delay: So sue me," News, Dec. 16]. Instead of these groups paying lawyer fees and somebody paying court fees, why don't the education groups give that money to their districts to lighten the burden? If the state is almost out of money as the governor said, then everybody must tighten up - even the school districts.

Peter DeMartini