Commentary: Making Better Budget Choices
April 11, 2012
Check out this recent Delaware County Daily Times op-ed from Better Choices for Pennsylvania Co-chairs Stephen Drachler and Peg Dierkers. Below is an excerpt.
"The recession drove down state tax collections, forcing policymakers to make choices. Health and human services were cut under Gov. Rendell and the Legislature. And it got worse when Gov. Corbett and the new Legislature took office last year. Children have lost health care, and victims of violence have fewer places to turn.
The current budget undermines investments in higher education and our schools, especially those that serve kids from struggling families. It actually proposes to spend $2 on prisons for every dollar on colleges and universities.
How can we expect to prepare a well-educated workforce and a new generation of leaders when our government continues to cut funding for educating them? ...
There are better choices. Pennsylvania lawmakers can avoid deep cuts that hurt children, families and seniors without raising taxes.
Lawmakers must find smart cost-savings and efficiencies. The time has also come to close tax loopholes that allow profitable multi-state corporations to avoid paying state taxes. This is a luxury we can no longer afford and one that few states tolerate any more.
We should also delay tax cuts, such as a planned reduction in the state’s capital stock and franchise tax, until the economy recovers more. Over the years, tax cuts have shaved billions off the tax bills of corporations in Pennsylvania, but we haven’t gotten billions in new jobs.
At the end of the day, state spending cuts mean less growth, higher local taxes and college tuition, and a workforce unprepared for tomorrow’s economy. It means lost opportunities for our kids and less help for our parents and grandparents.
We need to get back on the right track by taking bold steps to rebuild Pennsylvania’s economy, not continuing corporate tax cuts that haven’t produced the promised jobs."