For all the political double speak in Harrisburg about “growing the middle class” and “taking care of working class Pennsylvanians”, it seems that Gov. Ed Rendell forgot his own words when crafting the 2008-2009 PA budget, because nothing hurts the middle class more than paying MORE money to the government.
Rendell submitted a bloated budget filled with tax increases and new entitlement spending to the tune of $28.3 billion to the General Assembly last week. Even with the recent downturn of the national economy, Fast Eddy proposed $2.3 billion worth of new spending, which is his 5th straight year of increasing the budget. The Governor says that he wants to repair bridges and dams, build new medical research facilities, and invest in alternative energy projects (like Schuylkill’s failed windmill project), but how will he pay for it? Of course, by doing what he always does . . . reaching his grubby paws into the pockets of working Pennsylvanians (If he stays on his current spendthrift pace, soon all Rendell will find is some dryer lint and and a pack of Life Savers).
So, what effect will this budget have on you?
If you are one of those evil fascist smokers like me, you will be paying over $5.00 a pack to feed your ugly and immoral addiction.
If you are someone who enjoys the lavish privilege of electricity in your home, you will be seeing a new “public benefit charge” on your monthly bill.
If you can afford to insure your home against fire, flood, wind, and other unforeseen damages, then Rendell believes that you are wealthy enough to pay an additional $7 for every $100 in your monthly premium, to the government.
Even if you somehow don’t fall into any of the above categories you will still continue to pay:
The extra $.38 per gallon that the government charges you at the gas pump for the privilege of driving your car (Just think, without Rendell’s Gas Tax you would have paid $2.71/gallon this morning to fill up).
The extra $40 per month on your cell phone and long distance bills for the privilege of making a phone call within the borders of the Commonwealth.
The extra $52 per year out of your paycheck for the privilege of holding down a job in Rendell’s fiefdom.
To make matters worse, while Fast Eddy is out there charging you to work, to drive, to use electricity, to call your friends, to hold insurance, and to smoke cigarettes, he STILL plans to take 3.07% of your yearly salary (for those making around 35K, that’s a little over $1000) at income tax time. Where does it all go?
Well, for starters, this summer it will go out as a $400 “economic stimulus” check to people who didn’t even pay taxes this past year. The Governor calls it a “rebate”, but the Clarke Report believes it is better characterized as a handout. I wonder if private businesses have fiscal practices like these? Do you think I could walk into Wal-Mart and ask the management for a “rebate” on the Nintendo Wii I never got around to buying this year?
What’s better is that even with all of the taxes and fees Rendell has levied upon us, it still is NOT ENOUGH to pay for his spending package. He was $1.25 billion short! So, he asked the General Assembly to raise the debt ceiling in order to borrow more money to pay for his pet projects. Of course, the Democrat-led House had no problem giving more credit to a person who spends less intelligently than an Orange County Housewife. By a 21-14 party-line vote, the legislators who promised reform in Harrisburg gave Ed Spendell another $750 million to mortgage our children’s future so that he could erect more windmills across the state. Thumbs up to the Democrats!
The bottom line is that government is out of control. Ed Rendell and his Democrat flunkies may say that he cares about you, your spouse, your children, and your house, but have his actions (or inaction with property tax reform) really proven it? The Clarke Report says no, but I’ll let you and your wallet decide for yourself.