Rendell Tax Me More Express is Runaway Train Responsible for De-Railed State Budget
9/3/2009
After signing a stop-gap state budget last month to pay state employees, Gov. Ed Rendell is back on the road again, making his case for higher taxes and higher spending...and predicting dire consequences if his demands are not met.

In addition to hundreds of unemployed state workers, the governor’s individual executive decisions are having dire consequences right now because he alone chose to blue line or eliminate funding in the stop-gap budget to hold dozens of vital programs and community services hostage to up the ante on his bid for increased taxes.
 
For example, many child care providers serving low- and moderate-income families across the state are at risk to shut down due to the lack of state support.
 
As a result, parents who can’t find alternatives may be forced to quit their jobs and collect unemployment or even welfare to care for their children.
 
Students heading off to Penn State, Pitt, other state-affiliated colleges or state-owned universities, and community colleges have no idea how much grant funding they will get from the state, or even when or if they’ll get that money.
 
Senior citizens, veterans, children and others who rely on county-based programs such as Meals on Wheels could see services reduced or suspended due to lack of funds.
 
In short, the governor, who personally made sure to preserve the executive branch line item that funds both his salary and those of his entire cabinet, has chosen to line-item veto funding for child services, agriculture, as well as county programs, school districts, veterans services, libraries and more--solely for increased leverage in his fight for more spending and higher taxes.
 
It doesn’t have to be this way.   House Republicans have offered and voted for several balanced state budget proposals which would have increased education funding and kept essential state and county government services operating—with no broad-based tax increases.
 
In sharp contrast, House Democrat leaders sat on a pro-taxpayer budget bill for more than two months, conspiring with the governor to create the current “recurring revenue crisis” they hope will generate enough votes to support their appetite for higher spending and higher taxes—including a never completely off the table, 16 percent personal income tax increase.
 
Since the budget process began, House Republicans have been guided by the same principles to deliver a commonsense, realistic budget agreement: 
  • The state budget must reflect our financial situation and the current economic crisis;
  • It must maintain funding for essential services like public education, higher education and public safety;
  • It must identify a sustainable source of revenue to pay for the spending it proposes; and
  • It must do it without increasing taxes on Pennsylvania families. 
Pennsylvania is now facing the inescapable task of balancing the unprecedented $3.25 billion Rendell budget deficit which means now is the time for all branches of state government to live within their means. Any other course of action will result in a massive tax increase that Pennsylvania families and job-creating employers simply cannot afford.
 
Regardless of the final document that is signed into law, never forget that the Rendell Tax Me More Express is the runaway train responsible for derailing the 2009-10 state budget process and single-handedly putting the well-being of Pennsylvania’s children and our most vulnerable citizens in jeopardy. 
 
Just as I have done with my past four state budget votes, it is my job as your State Representative to support only those budget proposals that adequately fund the Commonwealth’s fiscal obligations without raising taxes on any hard-working Pennsylvania citizen.  
 
Rep. Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(814) 723-5203
(717) 787-1367
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 772-9979