Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The LuLac Edition #850, June 17th, 2009



Governor Rendell is going around the state talking a tax increase. The Governor wants to raise the rate to 3.57 percent from 3.07 percent to help close a $3.2 billion revenue gap. I say don’t be a piker and just raise the darn thing to an even 4%. That would raise the additional money needed without making painful budget cuts. And even though people are not happy about the increase, when you compare it to other states in the nation, Pennsylvania tax is ranked number 40 in terms of taxpayer responsibility. The Governor should also stop saying the tax hike will be permanent. That is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. We all know that every tax we have now started as a temporary solution. Remember Governor Shapp’s increase in 1971? After 38 years, uh still here. But again, this might be a chip on the poker table. After the tax is passed, I would be more prudent in agency spending and freeze any increases through the end of his term. While an agency would not grow, on the other side of the coin, agencies destined for a cut because they don’t have the perceived political juice would not be eliminated altogether. Public TV comes to mind. Rendell sat with his Cabinet members today and shared with them a list of departmental spending cuts that he said need to be made to bring his $29 billion budget proposal into balance. The cuts ranged from $100,000 to smaller agencies up to $212 million for the Department of Education. The bulk of the $500 million would come from the departments of Education, Public Welfare and Community and Economic Development. This proposal by the Governor is historic and in a way politically courageous and crazy at the same time. A lame duck Governor has never proposed raising taxes on his way out the door. The State Legislature says the proposal will be dead on arrival. But Rendell has in his arsenal the fact that he is more popular than the hapless lawmakers. Now this might be a ploy by the wily Governor too. He is in budget negotiations after all and he just might be throwing this tax out as a starting point. But if you talk to statewide Republicans, they are dead set against the proposal. Then there are the Democrats who have to run for re-election. There is a possibility the GOP and a few Dems might form a coalition to pass their version of a budget. The Governor is all alone out there too in the Executive branch. Because of the death of Katherine Baker Knoll, GOP Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati is also the Ltn. Governor. There is talk around the state that the Ltn. Governor wants to debate the Governor on all things debatable regarding the tax increase, the budget and the future of Pennsylvania’s finances. The public TV stations are willing to run it statewide, even when they are cutting slashed to the bone. So far, no word if the Governor will participate. But if he does, this might make Lincoln-Douglas look like a tea party. My feeling on this is that the budget by law has to be balanced. We are in tough economic times. Unlike the federal government, we can’t print or borrow our own money. So let’s everybody bite the bullet, the Legislature included (you can eliminate a staff person making over $70,000 a year as well as cut your own salary by $10,000) and get this done. But let’s not be selective about the pain. Let this hurt everyone. Big shots and welfare queens alike. But don’t dare pick your spots because the people in this state, after being property tax relief and not having it come, are on their last nerve.


At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! THat would be a debate. The Guv does not have the issue on his side though. This might be tougher for him to explain than an Eagles pass route gone bad!

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Up it to 3.75 and save the Scranton State School for the Deaf
and plenty more! Why are some things non negotable as if they were done deals goin in? I know "because they are" is the answer, but some things can be worked out including those that look bad from the get go especially when the citizens get aroused. This one didnt stand a chance.Lets see who ends up with the property. Follow the money-follow the land.

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Ed "the Tax Hike Tour" is on the road. I wonder are satin jackets available emblazoned with "TAX HIKE TOUR". Oh, to be a roadie on this one. Outgoing Governor wants more of your money one more time. A smash hit! Featuring music from the depression, "Brother Can You Spare A DIME?" Catered by the citizens of Pennsylvania. No encore.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supreme Court Nominee falls, breaks ankle. Secretary of State falls, breaks elbow. Two middle age women. One who's husband is currently unemployed. I hope they have good healthcare coverage. I bet they have the best! I hope both ladies are ok, just wanted to make a point.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion to the Goveroner, Ask for House Bill 1318 to be reviewed in the house NOW. I bet you might be able to save more money by, keeping the Scranton State School for the Deaf running under the current plan as a state school. The proposed charter school cost tax payers more and don't educate all the students currently inrolled at the state school. Also what happens to the property that was given to the state in 1921? Is that for sale also or is that promist to someone. I can't believe after seening a show on 20/20 called (Cash for Kids)that no one has questioned this transaction.
What ever happened to the deaf students of Pennsylvaina having a Free and Appropriate Education?


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