According to the Daily News, Democrat Governor Ed Rendell’s tax-increase plan is getting the cold shoulder from many in the House and the Senate.
The Democrats are proposing raising the state income tax from 3.07% to 3.57% for three years. Skeptics question whether the tax would actually be repealed after three years. The Democrat sponsored proposal would hike taxes by approximately 16%.
Many argue that Rendell’s spending has been a major catalyst in the budget deficit. Others also look at our rising unemployment rates and troubled economy and question the judgment of raising taxes during economic turmoil. In either case, balancing the budget on the back of working families is never a politically expedient decision.
The Commonwealth Foundation points to $1,300,000,000 in savings that Rendell simply is refusing to cut.
Another issue raised by Senate Republicans is that the budget is still $28.9 billion, despite a lagging economy. That means it is a 4% increase in spending, despite a $3.7 billion dollar budget deficit and a troubled economy. Senate Republican argue that the Democrats are not cutting enough to live within their means. Pennlive.com quotes Republican Senate Leader Dominic Pileggi as saying “the cuts (proposed by Rendell) have been completely overbalanced by additional spending.”
The Scranton Times reports that Democrat House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, and Democrat Representative Ken Smith support raising taxes. Republican leaders are against it.
The Times Leader reported that Democrat Senator Bob Mellow also advocates a major tax increase.
A serious deadline looms on the budget. The state requires that the budget be passed by June 30.
Mellow and the entire State House will be up for re-election in 2010.
I guess it is possible to understand how Democrats could think hiking taxes would be ok now. If you listen to Democrat Vice-President Joe Biden’s recent statements regarding the economy, you would think it was all butterflies and rainbows. Apparently, Biden missed the memo. Umm…we actually lost 345,000 jobs in May ALONE. The US unemployment rate jumped from 8.9% to 9.4% in May ALONE. What happened to creating millions of jobs with the Porkulus Crap-Sandwich?