We've tried it Ed Rendell's way for six years and look where it's gotten us: Massive budget deficits, high taxes and a lower standard-of-living for most Pennsylvanians.
Rendell is offering more of the same for the coming fiscal year: Higher spending and higher taxes.
House Republicans have a better idea: Reduce state spending, eliminate waste and cut taxes for workers and business owners.
Eliminating spending on wasteful government programs and giving money back to hard-working middle-class families and small businesses need to be top priorities for the 2009-10 state budget, Republican Whip Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery) said Monday at a Capitol press conference.
"We need to bring fiscal sanity back to Pennsylvania's state government," Turzai said. "The governor's proposed cuts were a good starting place, but don't go nearly far enough. We need to make significant changes to the Commonwealth's budget and reprioritize spending on the programs that benefit our citizens the most."
Monday's presentation focused on additional cuts under the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and rolling back the Personal Income Tax (PIT) to 2.99 percent from the current 3.07 percent level.
Turzai plans to roll out additional cost-saving measures over the next couple of weeks.
From a press release issued by Turzai and Quigley:
During his 2009-10 budget address, Gov. Ed Rendell proposed eliminating 24 DCED programs, saving $135.6 million. Turzai proposes eliminating another eight programs to save an additional $169.8 million. The programs eliminated under Turzai and Quigley's proposal are: the Opportunity Grant Program, Infrastructure Development, Community Conservation and Employment, Infrastructure and Facilities Improvements Grant, Economic Advancement, Community and Regional Development and World Trade PA. By eliminating these programs, the state can reduce more than $300 million from last year’s expenditures and return that money back to Pennsylvania’s middle-class families and small businesses.For more information, visit Turzai's Web site at www.RepTurzai.com
"With the state of our economy, the best thing we can do to improve our situation is to get money back in the hands of the people," said Quigley. "Reducing the PIT and increasing the buying power of Pennsylvania's families will raise confidence and allow people to spend more, which will help to pull us out of this slump."
"Small businesses and middle-class families are hurt the most during tough economic times," Turzai added. "Reducing the PIT to 2.99 percent will help Pennsylvania's families and small businesses better survive this economic downturn. As is often said, we cannot tax ourselves into prosperity. Now is the time to reduce taxes, put tax dollars back in the pockets of hard-working tax payers and improve Pennsylvania’s economy."