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Budget impasse


October 21, 2017 Letters to the Editor

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Nero fiddled while Rome burned. This is the attitude of Pennsylvania’s GOP legislature as our budget crisis continues. They are on vacation, on break, whatever excuse works.

Have they tried working on a budget with Gov. Tom Wolf? Not one time since Wolf has been in office have they made a decent effort to do so.

Former Gov. Tom Corbett was the first incumbent governor in modern Pennsylvania history to not win re-election. So why did voters leave the House and Senate in Republican control? By leaving the GOP in control of the government political decisions are still being made. We are being buried in debt and again without a budget. One-time fees and stopgap measures don’t work.

The state’s credit rating has been downgraded again. Therefore, if money is borrowed to balance the budget, interest rates are even higher. Taxpayers will get stuck with paying all of this back.

The GOP solution to the budget crisis is more gambling and access to alcohol. This creates more people in therapy, creates more personal debt and broken families. This is the solution from the party of the Christian right.

The way to solve the problem is two-fold. First is an immediate raise in minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. This modest raise would not hurt businesses. However, it would create a steady new tax revenue and an increase in spending which boosts the state’s economy.

The second solution is unpopular but necessary; a 0.5 percent increase in the state sales tax. Food, clothes and many other necessities are not taxed in Pennsylvania. However, one item I do consider a necessity was taxed by Corbett before he left office. Corbett put not one but three taxes on gasoline. Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax in the country. We need budget solutions to get us out of debt, not stop gap ones that put us further in.

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