As he suggested—and as everyone expected—Governor Paterson's deficit reduction plan was indeed grim: He proposed cutting a total of $5 billion from the budget over two years, $3 billion for this fiscal year and $2 billion from next. Paterson pleaded for the State Legislature to work with him, "During a time of uncommon difficulty, we need to work together for the common good and enact a consensus plan that helps us avoid the severe consequences faced by other states that failed to swiftly address their budget problems. This will mean hard and painful choices, but that is exactly the type of leadership New Yorkers deserve from their public officials."

There are no tax hikes and the Times Union notes the cuts "[include] reductions to education, health care and a long list of other programs ranging from social services and transportation to law enforcement." The NY Times offered some numbers: $113 million would be cut from the MTA; $686 million would be cut from school aid (NYC's share of the cut—$223 million); $471 million from Medicaid; $500 million in previously announced cuts to state agencies.

Paterson also said, "New York is ground zero for the fiscal crisis. This is a painful plan, but we will share the burden." The Post agrees, and takes a union and State Senator to task to claiming that cuts can't be made: "Even more over the top (and out to lunch) was Senate Finance Committee Chairman Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who insisted Paterson was merely trying to create a 'doomsday atmosphere.' Just what planet does he live on?"