For middle-wage earners, Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed spending plan creates a Pennsylvania littered with minefields, unless, of course, your membership at the country club is paid in full.
During the delivery of his budget presentation, the governor talked about sharing the burden. “Ifgovernment is here to share the taxpayer’s wealth then everyone needs to share in the sacrifice.” Two words Governor Corbett, Marcellus Shale. The governor left no room to impose any burden on companies that are sucking millions of dollars, and eventually billions out of Pennsylvania on the cheap, such as the gas drillers.
“The Marcellus is a resource, a source of potential wealth, the foundation of a new economy. Not just something new to tax,” said Corbett.
As the governor puts it, one can not tax his way out of financial peril, but at the same time, one can not talk about sharing anything until everyone, and I mean everyone, truly takes on some of the burden.
“When you look at who is not being asked to make a sacrifice, you will find the same names that were asked to make campaign contributions,” said Rock The Capital’s Eric Epstein.
Education is taking the biggest hit in Corbett’s budget. His message to educators: “if it means a pay freeze, trust me, you will have plenty of company out there to keep you warm.” Yup, teachers will be in plenty of good company. And, as the crowd gathers and starts to compare salaries, health benefits and pensions, and all of a sudden it becomes crystal clear, the governor’s budget in Epstein’s words, “is a strategy for class warfare and will create a donnybrook of table scraps.”
On the other end of the political spectrum, Matthew Brouillette with the commonwealth foundation says, “Its been the middle-class workers who have lost jobs if not lost pay increases and health care benefits. The shared pain is for government employees and teachers who have enjoyed pay hikes and taxpayer -funded health care who need to step up to the plate, so we don’t have to raise taxes on the middle class.”
Because Governor Corbett has relieved so much tax pressure from the backs of corporations and businesses based on a model of creating jobs, he has, in effect, pinned his legacy on that, and that alone. If Pennsylvania can grow jobs by the tens of thousands that pay a living wage, Governor Corbett will get a second term, but if his policies fail, he’s failed the people of the commonwealth.
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