Fact and Fiction in Controlling State Spending
By Senators Bob Regola and ‘Citizen Mike’ Folmer
At the very start of this legislative session, we introduced tandem plans to control – not cut – state spending. Senator Regola’s Senate Bill 7, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, would amend
Unfortunately, there has been a steady stream of misinformation and disinformation about these measures. We would like to set the record straight.
Over the past decade, state spending has risen faster than people’s income: spending is up 40% while personal income has risen 25%. Meanwhile, our population has been flat. Our Commonwealth simply cannot continue to spend, tax, and borrow.
Contrary to what opponents have said, spending would not merely be capped at the rate of inflation. Rather, spending would be capped at the combined rates of inflation and population growth. For example, if
The Taxpayer Protection Amendment and Act have also been disparaged by comparing it to
The spending cap under both the Taxpayer Protection Amendment and Act is not a “hard cap”; the spending cap can be suspended anytime the President or the Governor declares a state of emergency. The spending cap can also be suspended anytime 2/3 of both chambers of the General Assembly cast an affirmative vote to override the cap.
From 2001 through 2005 (the most recent five-year period for which data is available)
The time has come to close this gap by reining in state spending. The Taxpayer Protection Amendment and the Taxpayer Protection Act are reasonable, commonsense measures to achieve this important goal.
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