If there is a caption to be affixed to the last session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, it is, “Shameful dereliction of duty.”
Through sleight of hand, an estimated $1.7 billion deficit has been plugged and significant new spending approved with no new revenues: no Marcellus Shale gas extraction tax, and no tax on smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes.
Meaningful pension reform to address a gaping $50 billion hole is being set aside to another day and privatization of liquor sales for which Pennsylvanians have long clamored remains impossible to achieve. Property tax reform promised by Gov. Ed Rendell? Forget it. House members did have time, though, to declare the long rifle the official state firearm.
It is regrettable that the “leaders” whom we handsomely compensate are unwilling to do their jobs and need not fear that they will be turned out of office.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s legacy is threatened through the approval of this budget, as he will leave a massive deficit hole to be plugged by incoming Gov. Tom Wolf just as Corbett had a massive deficit dumped in his lap by Rendell, his overtaxing, overspending and overborrowing predecessor.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper St. Clair