I generally use this blog to write about the fallacy of property taxation in Pennsylvania but I want to tackle something a little different this time.
On Wednesday of last week the house passed a revenue package that calls for no new taxes. It fills the budget gap by utilizing funds that have been sitting in limbo in accounts of special interest controlled agencies of government hidden away from public scrutiny. Frankly, these is simply too much of this happening in Pennsylvania. What good is the office of the Auditor General if they have no power to enforce the recommendations when things like this are exposed through internal audits?
The bill (HB453) just narrowly passed in the house with only 103 votes.
The opposition to this budget revenue proposal has begun rallying the troops to launch a massive campaign to tell Senators to reject this common sense budget that is looking out for the working families of Pennsylvania. That’s not how they tell it.
If you listen to them they’ll tell you the world is coming to an end if this revenue bill passes. Using gross misrepresentation they tell a tale of utter catastrophe if this revenue bill actually becomes part of the funding mechanism of this years budget. What they won’t say is that the alternate is higher taxes, including higher taxes on home heating fuel. Hey, if you can’t afford to pay your home heating bill after they attack you with new taxes and you have freeze through the winter months, so be it, so long as these agencies of government have large reserves on hand to use for whatever they want with no accountability to us whatsoever.
We’ve seen this same type of misrepresentation used to do everything they can to defeat the common sense school property tax elimination bill. It doesn’t matter to them how many people have to lose their homes to fund the pension debacle; it doesn’t matter how many seniors have to remain in the workforce so long as those in the public sector don’t have to!
I am beyond angry!
If we stay silent the opposition will win this in the Senate. We have a handful of Senators who will support HB453 but they need to hear from us to know we have their back. Trust me, they are hearing from the opposition. All our Senators need to hear from us! We should be just as coordinated as those who want to perpetuate the legal plunder of our tax dollars!
We all need to understand that money was allocated to these special interest controlled agencies who took that funding. Instead of steering that money to programs that were intended to help people in Pennsylvania, including the poor, veterans and farmers, they tucked a portion of that money away into accounts that were away from the scrutiny of the public and the legislators.
As Rep. Russ Diamond stated on the house floor, it was like hiding the money in Mason Jars in the back yard.
These bureaucracies are under the executive office and once appropriated they see little oversight. We should be grateful for PA Rep. Frank Ryan who was the prime on HB453 and other House members who worked diligently to bring this issue to light. It is, after all, never too late to do the right thing!
The work that was done to find this money by a handful of house members is to be commended. They bucked the status quo to give us a budget utilizing money that is already there but is not being used for the purposes the money was intended. They stood up to those who want to see us paying higher taxes; to those who see the taxpayer as the unending revenue stream to milk dry; to those who look at those being devastated by their plundering practices as mere collateral damage of their own personal gain. The legislators who stood up to them and said no more deserve our support.
While most legislators were on their summer hiatus, these legislators spent the summer in Harrisburg trying to actually balance a budget without raising taxes. They did so by digging through these agencies to discover this money not being utilized by the agencies other than to build large reserve funds with some of it in interest bearing accounts. Opposition wants us to be angry at those who want to hold these agencies accountable to the people. Our anger should be directed, instead, to the agencies that were doing this to all of us!
As Frederic Bastiat declared: “When plunder becomes a way of life, men create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
While the rest of us are expected to pay more and more with less and less, these agencies wanted to protect themselves at our expense. How are we to trust an agency of government in place to help Pennsylvanians when they participate in the plunder of the very people they claim to want to help?
They have no problem with us having to cut back even more so long as they can protect their own extortion of our money.
Contact Information for the Senators in Pennsylvania can be found here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/contact.cfm?body=S
Just click on the email icon next to their name to let them know they need to pass HB453 as written. Tell them that drastically altering the bill (HB453) or voting against it will follow them all the way in to the voting booth.
Together was can all make a difference so speak up NOW! Don’t let these special interests win while they continue to plunder us for their gain!
” When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe. ”