Harrisburg -Once again Governor Rendell and the General Assembly claim a false victory for the Taxpayers.Based on what we have seen, the budget deal struck late last night is well above the combined rate of inflation and population growth.
"The new budget is like a blind date, it is what we expected - not what we hoped for," stated Kathryn English, president of PA Club for Growth."I am disappointed Republican leaders who publicly stated they would reduce Governor Rendell's proposed budget, are supporting a budget even greater than Rendell's proposal."
To add insult to injury, Senators Mike Folmer and Bob Regola have introduced a Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA) that would limit yearly spending increases to the combined rate of inflation and population growth. This legislation is co-sponsored by 28 republicans and 2 democrats. For this budget to pass, at least five of the co-sponsors are preparing to violate the spirit of the taxpayer protection act.
Pennsylvania has a $640 million surplus which should have been returned to the people. Under the TPA, 75 percent of the surplus would have been instantly returned, not generated into new spending. Borrowing money as a way to avoid tax increases is just a tax increase delayed. This is a backend tax increase.
Although not all the details have been made public, transportation seems to be one of the main components of the high spending.Not only will it be an immediate spending increase, now, but it will also take future competition away from the turnpike authority.This leaves the transportation budget susceptible to a huge increase year after year.
There are some elements of the budget where Governor Rendell did not prevail.He did not receive any of his 7 new tax proposals.The phase-out of the Capital Stock and Franchise tax will continue.
"Despite these losses for the Governor, all taxpayers and hardworking families lose any time there is an increase in spending of more than the combined rates of inflation and population growth," said English."Hard working families live within their means, so should the government."