Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekly Republican Address: Where's The Budget?



Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says Washington Democrats' unprecedented decision to cancel this year's budget will wreak havoc on our economy and make it even harder to put people back to work.

The House Budget Committee's top Republican, Ryan says Democrats' plan to continue their out-of-control 'stimulus' spending spree and raise taxes on middle-class families is a "recipe for disaster."

He also challenges President Obama and Washington Democrats to stop running out the clock and "make the tough choices they promised they would, put moral obligation before political expedience, and focus on what's in the best interests of the next generation, not the next election."

With economists saying immediate fiscal discipline is needed to create jobs, Ryan notes that Republicans have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts that could be implemented right now.

Rep. Ryan is in his sixth term representing the people of Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Party 125th District candidate Dennis Baylor wants to reform government

Citizen activist Dennis Baylor plans a third-party challenge in the 125th Legislative District of the state House of Representatives.

The incumbent is Democrat Tim Seip, who ran on a reform platform, but turned into a doormat for the party bosses in Harrisburg. The Republican candidate is Mike Tobash.

Read more about Baylor's campaign in the Reading Eagle:

No Party 125th District candidate Dennis Baylor wants to reform government

Auditor General Jack Wagner Says Megan's Law Website Improved, But Still Not Making the Grade

Auditor General Jack Wagner Says Megan's Law Website Improved, But Still Not Making the Grade

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thomas Sowell: Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

Thomas Sowell is a serious man, one of the sharpest minds of any political observer in the United States today. When he starts expressing concern that the Obama Regime is pushing the U.S. toward a totalitarian state, everyone should start worrying.

Obama can be stopped this November by voting out every Democrat in Congress.

Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny? - Investors.com

Could the Obama Administration be Blocking Gulf Clean-up Efforts Intentionally?

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown : Could the Obama Administration be Blocking Gulf Clean-up Efforts Intentionally?" - Townhall.com

Take the Quiz!

Two more questions have been posted to Team Toomey's "How Well Do You Know Joe?" quiz to test your knowledge of ultra-liberal U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

Click here to take the quiz.

Columnist: Health care rationing begins under Obama

From a new column by Nat Hentoff on Obama's plan to nationalize health care:
There are many reasons why it is vital for Americans to vote in the midterm elections —and, of course, in 2012, to prevent a second term for the most dangerous and incompetent president we have ever had — but for many Americans, it is particularly important this year to vote against supporters of ObamaCare. The question for many voters should be whether, in the years ahead, they will be in condition to vote if they are on waiting lists for government-controlled health care.

More of us are learning that during the Obama administration, it is essential to continually keep our eyes open on all it does.
Read the full column here.

52 Shot, 8 Dead and Mayor Daley Still Resists Self-Defense

52 Shot, 8 Dead and Mayor Daley Still Resists Self-Defense

Governor Rendell Calls $261 Million Collected During Tax Amnesty Program an 'Overwhelming Success'

Governor Rendell Calls $261 Million Collected During Tax Amnesty Program an 'Overwhelming Success'

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weekly GOP Address: Obama exploits oil spill crisis

Guess who said it ...

Barack Obama is "the most dangerous and incompetent president we have ever had."

Can you guess who said it? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Ann Coulter? Nope.

Those are the words of Nat Hentoff, a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and a longtime liberal activist.

Hentoff, a Democrat who is still writing a syndicated column into his 80s, fears for the future of this country if Obama's agenda is not stopped this November.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feds to Arizona: We Won't and You Can't

Feds to Arizona: We Won't and You Can't

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18 at Midnight

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18 at Midnight

Rendell Urges Legislators to Remain in Harrisburg Until State Budget is Complete

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Urges Legislators to Remain in Harrisburg Until State Budget is Complete

President Obama's BP Speech Hits the Low-Water Mark Among Americans

President Obama's BP Speech Hits the Low-Water Mark Among Americans

Name That Party

The Associated Press does it again. Nowhere in this story does it mention that Sen. Bob Mellow is the top-ranking Democrat in the Pennsylvania Senate.

The wire service routinely leaves out the party affiliation when Democrats are under investigation or are charged with a crime.See for yourself:
By MARC LEVY
Associated Press Writer
HARRISBURG — An FBI official says agents have executed search warrants at the home and district office of a top Pennsylvania state senator.
FBI spokesman Frank Burton Jr. said Friday that the agents are investigating allegations of illegal activity by Senate Minority Leader Bob Mellow.
Burton says the investigation is a joint operation between the IRS and the FBI.
He says the agents arrived in the morning at Mellow's Scranton-area home and office, but Burton wouldn't say what they were seeking or discuss the allegations.
Messages left for Mellow and his staff were not immediately returned.
Mellow is the state Senate's longest-serving member and is retiring at the end of this year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Keith Olbermann leaves Daily Kos

The circle of liberal loons is getting smaller. Keith 'Think Skin' Olbermann won't blog for a liberal Web site because someone questioned his staged indignation at Obama. This is a big deal for the 10 people who watch MSNBC.

Keith Olbermann leaves Daily Kos - Andy Barr - POLITICO.com

FCC moves toward Internet regulation

Liberal fascism continues on the rise as Obama moves to gain control of the World Wide Web.

FCC moves toward Internet regulation - Kim Hart and Tony Romm - POLITICO.com

Rafferty bill would require school board 'super majority' to raise taxes

The Pennsylvania Senate Education Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr., R-44th Dist., that would require a "super majority" vote for school boards to raise property taxes.

From a press release issued by Rafferty's office:
Senate Bill 553 would amend the Public School Code to require all millage property tax increases to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote by the members elected to the board of school directors.

"Taxpayers are rightfully concerned that property taxes continue to increase, as does school spending," Rafferty said. "Many tax increases are being passed by a single vote. I believe there should be a compelling need and strong support by the board before property taxes go up."

Rafferty said his legislation would provide greater taxpayer protections and ensure that school boards of directors first seek to control spending before raising taxes.

"Taxpayers have repeatedly told us that they want a stronger say in taxing decisions," Rafferty said. "My bill will provide an added protection against tax increases because it will raise the bar when it comes to voting for an increase."

"This is an important move to rein in property tax increase and control spending," Rafferty added.
School boards in Pennsylvania have nine voting members, so at least six would have to support a property tax hike under Rafferty's bill.

Anything that makes it harder for school boards to raise taxes is a step in the right direction, but nothing short of the total elimination of school property taxes will solve Pennsylvania's school funding problems.

Democrats' Attempt to 'Buy Off' NRA Shows Bankruptcy of 'Disclose Act,' says CCRKBA

Democrats' Attempt to 'Buy Off' NRA Shows Bankruptcy of 'Disclose Act,' says CCRKBA

New Internet Fraud Alert to Help Rescue Stolen Account Credentials

New Internet Fraud Alert to Help Rescue Stolen Account Credentials

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obama Gives Part of Arizona to Mexicans

Fact-checking Obama's Gulf Spill Address

Doing the Job Media Won't Do: Fact-checking Obama's Gulf Spill Address | NewsBusters.org

FRC Urges FDA to Reject New Abortion Drug Falsely Labeled as an Emergency Contraceptive

FRC Urges FDA to Reject New Abortion Drug Falsely Labeled as an Emergency Contraceptive

3 Reasons Obama Should Kick His Own Ass

State Senate proposal would require extra vote to raise property taxes

State Senate proposal would require extra vote to raise property taxes

National spotlight on PA 7th Congressional District race

Brian Walsh : 2010 Race of the Day: Fighting Corruption in Pennsylvania (PA-07) - Townhall.com

Video: Politics of Deceit



Bauer and Rose's Latest Video Calls on Obama to Keep His Word to Israel

FRC Responds to Release of First Ever GAO Report on Federal Funding for Abortion Advocates

FRC Responds to Release of First Ever GAO Report on Federal Funding for Abortion Advocates

Judicial Watch Files Complaint With Office of Special Counsel Requesting Investigation of Obama White House 'Bribery Scandals'

Judicial Watch Files Complaint With Office of Special Counsel Requesting Investigation of Obama White House 'Bribery Scandals'

President Obama's Address on BP Oil Spill Fails to Move Voters

President Obama's Address on BP Oil Spill Fails to Move Voters

Gary Bauer Says 'Obama Has Been a Man-Caused Disaster in the Gulf'

Gary Bauer Says 'Obama Has Been a Man-Caused Disaster in the Gulf'

Poll: Majority supports right to bear arms

Americans Should be Allowed to Have Guns, Say Large Majorities

Show your support for public libraries

If you live in Berks County, follow the link below to take a 10-minute survey to show your support for public libraries.

Share: More than 1,000 take survey about Berks County library system

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Senate Transportation panel to hold hearings on funding issues

From the office of State Sen. John Rafferty Jr.:
Senate Transportation panel to hold hearings on funding issues

HARRISBURG - The Senate Transportation Committee kicked off a series of public hearings today on the transportation funding issues, according to Committee Chairman Senator John Rafferty, R-44th.

Rafferty said Pennsylvania faces crucial challenges in maintaining and enhancing its transportation network, and he wants input from those in the public and private sector on how to best allocate resources and generate needed revenue.

"Today we heard from PennDOT Secretary Alan Biehler who talked about projects that are planned and others that are on hold because of funding issues," Rafferty said.

"In upcoming hearings we hope to hear suggestions from those in the private sector on how we can make the best use of tax dollars and find innovative new ways to meet our growing needs."

Rafferty acknowledged that funding transportation needs is a major challenge, especially during an economic downturn, and said it is important to hear from those with expertise in the field to develop good policies and initiatives.

"Money is tight, and we are facing a huge revenue shortfall again this year," Rafferty said. "But highways, roads and bridges still need to be maintained and new networks built to accommodate growth and ensure that our economy remains strong. So we have to find ways to do more with less and take advantage of innovation."

The committee will hold a second hearing next week and additional hearings in the following weeks.

Laura Ingraham to Speak at National Tea Party Unity Convention

Laura Ingraham to Speak at National Tea Party Unity Convention

Hypocritical Democrats filtering corporate money for elections

Hypocritical Democrats filtering corporate money for elections

Columnist.: Governor's digs a costly luxury

John D. Forester Jr.: Governor's digs a costly luxury

Talk of fairness for teachers must include taxpayers

Talk of fairness for teachers must include taxpayers (6/15/10)

Small Business Employees Won't Be Able Keep the Health Coverage They Currently Have

Small Business Employees Won't Be Able Keep the Health Coverage They Currently Have

PA Secretary of Aging Urges Vigilance Against Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Older Adults

PA Secretary of Aging Urges Vigilance Against Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Older Adults

Governor George Pataki Challenges Senator Tom Daschle to Debate ObamaCare

Governor George Pataki Challenges Senator Tom Daschle to Debate ObamaCare

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obama Lied: Many Will Lose Health Coverage

Remember how Barack Obama kept saying that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it under the health care reform plan he was pushing for more than a year? He lied. That's right. He lied.

He lied so he could get enough doormat Democrats to vote for the government takeover of health care. And many of you gullible Democrats who went along with the scam will now lose your health care coverage. How's that hope and change working out for you?

From The Associated Press:
Health overhaul to force changes in employer plans

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON — Over and over in the health care debate, President Barack Obama said people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it.

But an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers — 51 percent — will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to midrange projections in the draft.

Republicans said Obama broke his promise. Employer groups were divided.

It's more evidence that the law will raise costs, said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But the Business Roundtable — representing CEOs of major firms — saw encouraging signs of flexibility, though it's withholding final judgment. Some experts believe increased regulation will lead to improved benefits for consumers.

"On the face of it, having consumer protections apply to all insurance plans could be a good thing for employees," said Alex Vachon, an independent health policy consultant. "Technically, it's actually improved coverage."

The types of changes that employers could have to make include offering preventive care without copayments and instituting an appeals process for disputed claims that follows new federal guidelines. The law already requires all health plans to extend coverage to young adult children until they turn 26. Such incremental changes can nudge costs up.

3 more chances to watch 'Journalists Roundtable'

If you missed Thursday's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network, you still have three more opportunities to watch the show.

The one-hour program re-airs Sunday at 5 PM and 11 PM as well as Monday at 10 AM on PCN.

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" comes to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown. The panelists include Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

Topics of discussion include the Joe Sestak/White House Job Offer Scandal, who is to blame for the Gulf Oil Spill, School Taxes/Pension Reform, voter apathy in the May 18 Primary Election and a preview of the Toomey/Sestak race for PA Senator and the Corbett/Onorato race for PA governor.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area. Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

FRC to Testify in Support of Current Blood Donation Policy

FRC to Testify in Support of Current Blood Donation Policy

The American Legion Supports Reforms for Arlington

The American Legion Supports Reforms for Arlington

Tea Party Congressional Candidate Wins Decisive Victory in 23rd CA District

Tea Party Congressional Candidate Wins Decisive Victory in 23rd CA District

Sens. Rafferty, Logan honored by State Troopers



Pictured above: Sen. Paul Logan, left, Sen. John Rafferty, second from right, and Bruce Edwards, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, right, with the widow and children of Trooper Paul Richey. Trooper Richey's family was the first to benefit from Senate Bill 369.

More from Sen. Rafferty's office:
Senators honored by State Troopers Association

Sen. John C. Rafferty, Jr., R-44th, and Sen. Sean Logan, D-45th, were recently honored by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association for their work in passing Senate Bill 369, which ensures that the families of public safety employees killed in the line of duty receive death benefits.

"This measure provides peace of mind and solid assurance to our officers that their loved one will receive adequate and full survivor benefits," Sen. Rafferty said. "I am proud to have co-sponsored this legislation."

The bill guarantees killed-in-service-death benefits to all spouses or minor children of a paid firefighter, law enforcement officer and ambulance service or rescue squad member equal to the amount of the decedent’s monthly salary.

"Without the drive and commitment from Sen. Rafferty this bill would not have happened. It was his tireless efforts to push this measure through during a very difficult budget time," said Bruce Edwards, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.

"This bill has a cost to it, an unknown cost, because you never know how often it will be needed. But this did not deter Senators Rafferty and Logan and they were able to get it through.

"Unfortunately the state police were the first to use it, but thankfully it was there for Trooper Paul Richey's widow and two children," Edwards said.

Prior to passage of SB369, pension and workers' compensation payments provided death benefits that covered a portion of the salaries of troopers, officers, firefighters and emergency personnel in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and third-class cities that were killed in the line of duty. With the new measure, the state would pick up the remaining share.

Boroughs and townships used to pay the entire cost of benefits for their police. Senate Bill 369 shifted these costs to the state. A Senate actuarial study estimates the annual cost to the state to be $9,000 for each officer killed in the line of duty.

Since 2002, 32 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. Of these officers, nine were members of the pension plans providing the killed-in-service benefit. The surviving beneficiaries of the remaining 23 law enforcement officers and an additional 15 firefighters were not eligible for the benefit because these public safety employees were not members of the Act 600 pension plan.
SB369 now assures adequate financial protection for families of fallen police officer and other emergency responders.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers

Dems eye stimulus to pay teachers - David Rogers - POLITICO.com

New Exhibit Debuts in Gettysburg

New Exhibit Debuts in Gettysburg

Tony Phyrillas on 'Journalists Roundtable'

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" is coming to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown.

The one-hour program hosted by Bill Bova airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). The show will repeat Sunday at 5 p.m. and again at 11 p.m

The panel includes Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area.

Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

America's CEO

19th Annual State Veterans Homes Week Slated for June 13-19 in PA

19th Annual State Veterans Homes Week Slated for June 13-19 in PA

PA Gaming Control Board Announces Implementation Schedule for Table Games at Casinos

PA Gaming Control Board Announces Implementation Schedule for Table Games at Casinos

Governor, First Lady Rendell Invite Public to Visit Residence Gardens

Governor, First Lady Rendell Invite Public to Visit Residence Gardens

Sands Casino Bethlehem Receives $48,000 Fine for Underage Patron Violations

Sands Casino Bethlehem Receives $48,000 Fine for Underage Patron Violations

Census Bureau News -- County Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: July 1, 2009

Census Bureau News -- County Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: July 1, 2009

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'Journalists Roundtable' returns to Pottstown

This week's edition of "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) is coming to you from the offices of The Mercury in Pottstown.

The one-hour program hosted by Bill Bova airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on cable systems throughout Pennsylvania.

The show will repeat Sunday at 5 p.m. and again at 11 p.m

The panel for June 10 edition will be Tony Phyrillas, city editor/political columnist for The Mercury; Phil Heron, editor of The Delaware County Daily Times; and Stan Huskey, editor of The Times-Herald in Norristown.

PCN is shown on Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Cable Channel 23 in Berks/Lehigh counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area.

Consult your cable guide for the Pennsylvania Cable Network channel in your area.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Judicial Watch Uncovers New Documents Detailing Mexican Government Incursions

Judicial Watch Uncovers New Documents Detailing Mexican Government Incursions

New Obama Bestseller Infuriates Major Media Amidst Record Breaking Sales

New Obama Bestseller Infuriates Major Media Amidst Record Breaking Sales

Thousands Attend SIOA Rally Against Islamic Supremacist Mosque at Ground Zero

Thousands Attend SIOA Rally Against Islamic Supremacist Mosque at Ground Zero

Revere America Collects 125,000 Signatures on Petition to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare in Just 6 Weeks

Revere America Collects 125,000 Signatures on Petition to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare in Just 6 Weeks

Rep. Schroder welcomes reform measures

Unlike many of his colleagues who have decided to stick their head in the sand, Rep. Curt Schroder, a longtime proponent of reforming state government, issued this statement in support of the Bonusgate Grand Jury recommendations.
Grand Jury Speaks for Pennsylvania Citizens in its Recommendations to Clean Up Corruption

By Rep. Curt Schroder


It was satisfying to learn that the statewide grand jury assembled two years ago to investigate the Capitol corruption scandal known as Bonusgate had decided to issue a report on its findings. Contrary to reports, not everyone in the General Assembly has scoffed at or derided the recommendations. It was even more satisfying to learn that many of the grand jury's recommendations for reforming the Legislature and curbing public corruption are already contained in bills I have introduced.

It is rare that a grand jury opts to issue a report, and even rarer that it would delve so deeply into the muck as to make sweeping recommendations for change. I can only surmise that the average tax-paying citizens who comprise that body were so appalled at what they learned about their state Legislature and pervasive corruption, that they were moved to initiate a desperate cry for change.

It is apparent, in the words of the grand jury, that the state Legislature is "irretrievably broken" and in desperate need of systemic change. Its recommendations included reducing legislative salaries to force Pennsylvania into becoming a part-time Legislature; cutting legislative staff; streamlining services; and limiting special accounts controlled by House and Senate leaders.

My legislation includes those points and goes even further to eliminate discretionary grants known as WAMS, and move members of the Legislature to a defined contribution system to replace their defined benefit pension plan. In fact, last summer, during the protracted state budget stalemate, I proposed forming a true citizens' constitutional convention, which captured widespread support among major reform organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

A constitutional convention would allow all of the issues raised by the grand jury to be addressed. The grand jury asserted that a constitutional convention would likely be necessary to achieve some of the reforms it was recommending as jurors expressed doubt the Legislature was capable of reforming itself.

I am encouraged by the findings of the grand jury. While some recommendations are open to debate and discussion, I believe the grand jury has done a great service on behalf of Pennsylvanians. It is an independent body that has carefully studied the practices and procedures that enabled corruption to occur and take hold at the highest levels of previous House leadership. While many changes have been made by current House leaders, this report still serves as a major wake-up call. I am calling on the leadership of the House and Senate to take these recommendations seriously and to act immediately to fix our broken system.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Poll: Gov't response to oil spill seen as worse than Katrina

Poll: Gov't response to oil spill seen as worse than Katrina - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Liberal House Dems, unions push for $23B fund to save teacher jobs

It's all about payback in Washington, D.C. Teachers' unions help elect Democrats so those same Democrats can raid the public treasury to give billions back to the teachers' unions. It's a great scam - until Joe Taxpayer gets stuck with the bill.

Liberal House Dems, unions push for $23B fund to save teacher jobs - TheHill.com

Guest Column: VAT is no solution to budget woes

Why a VAT is no solution to our budget woes

Rep. Joe Pitts and Rep. Jim Gerlach

If you walk into an Apple store in the United States you can walk out with a brand new iPod for around $212. If you purchase from the same retailer in England, you can expect to pay the equivalent of $230. Why the difference? Much of this disparity is because of a value-added tax paid on manufactured products in Britain.

A value-added tax, or VAT, is a type of sales tax paid by raw materials producers, manufacturers, and retailers at each stage of production. This type of tax is common in most European nations, but does not exist in the U.S.

However, this situation may not last much longer. Paul Volcker, one of the President's top economic advisors, has publicly called for a new VAT. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that Congress should look into creating the new tax.

It is certainly true that our federal government is facing a budget crisis; we just don't believe that a new VAT would balance our budget or allow our economy to create the millions of new jobs necessary to recover from the current recession.

Greece, Spain and Portugal have all assessed a VAT for decades. None of these nations has used the added VAT revenue to balance their budget. During the economic bubble, tax revenue from the VAT and other sources encouraged these governments to set up lavish public sector benefits and expand government programs.

Now with the economic downturn, many of these nations are facing catastrophic deficits. The VAT didn't make European governments responsible, why would we think things would be different in the U.S.?

Instead, the VAT is a drag on job growth. The last thing we want to do right now is reduce the buying power of a dollar through new taxes. But with a VAT, consumers would pay more at the cash register, businesses would pay more for accounting and the government would pay more to police tax payments.

Obviously, if you pay more for an iPod or other consumer goods, you will have less money to spend on something else. The VAT has a direct effect on consumer purchasing power.

Right now, sales taxes are only assessed when someone buys a consumer good. When a manufacturer sells a product to a retailer, no tax is assessed. But under a VAT, each business in the supply chain collects taxes. That means additional paperwork and accounting costs. Accounting is a worthy profession, but hiring another accountant to comply with the VAT isn't going to make a small business more profitable.

The complexity of the VAT system means that the government needs to hire additional IRS agents and auditors to enforce the tax. A 1984 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office showed that a VAT would lead the IRS to expand its workforce by more than 20,000. A new estimate would probably show a significant increase in the number of workers needed to enforce the VAT.

By the end of the year we could see a very serious debate about whether Congress should look to the VAT to balance the budget. The President's debt commission is searching for ways to balance the federal budget. In Washington one of the most talked about recommendations is the VAT.

Even the President himself has indicated that a VAT should be considered as a way to increase government revenue. We don't believe that the primary problem is a lack of revenue. Instead, we have a government that has grown beyond its rightful bounds.

From 1982 to 2007, the U.S. created 45 million new jobs compared to only 10 million in Europe. There are many causes for this disparity, but among the chief reasons is a much higher tax burden on Europeans.

We've joined together with 155 Members of Congress in a letter calling on the debt commission to reject the temptation to recommend a VAT and instead look for ways restrain government spending. A balanced budget doesn't have to come at the expense of American jobs.

The U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations that doesn't impose a VAT. We believe that what makes us different from other nations is what makes our economy the strongest in the world.

Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District. Rep. Jim Gerlach is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 6th Congressonal District.

Columnist: No respite from election-year politics

Mary Young: No respite from election-year politics

Newspaper: Lawmakers explicitly, credibly warned of pension mess

Lawmakers explicitly, credibly warned of pension mess (6/7/10)

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18

PA Tax Amnesty Ends June 18; Only 11 Days Left for Tax Delinquents to Save on Penalties, Interest on Back Taxes

Study: Congress Backs Fewer Budget-Increase Bills, but Still Lacks Budget-Cut Will

Study: Congress Backs Fewer Budget-Increase Bills, but Still Lacks Budget-Cut Will

PA Board of Game Commissioners To Meet on June 28-29

PA Board of Game Commissioners To Meet on June 28-29

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tribute to Ronald Reagan

Rohrer weighs in on Rendell's growing budget deficit

He may have only six months left in his legislative career, but state Rep. Sam Rohrer is not going away quietly.

After May tax collection estimates confirmed Pennsylvania is facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit, Rohrer reiterated his contention that Gov. Ed Rendell has recklessly placed the Commonwealth in fiscal insolvency.

From a Rohrer press release:
"If Pennsylvania was a private company, it would be staring bankruptcy in the face," Rohrer said.

Rohrer, who serves as the Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee, noted that revenue collections through May were down by more than $685 million compared to the same point last year.

The Rendell administration initially projected a $3.3 billion annual increase in revenues, from $25.5 billion last year to $28.8 billion this year.

"Even utilizing the most elementary method of revenue projection, there was no defensible basis to predict anything other than a decrease in revenue projections," Rohrer said. "Coupled with the fact that Pennsylvania lags any national economic recovery - which still has not occurred - a revenue increase projection was without any legitimate justification. The governor has the unique duty to ensure that spending is connected to revenue collections, and revenue projections should always err on the side of understating projections. Now we are predictably faced with people still losing jobs, corporate tax revenues still declining, personal consumption decreasing and a governor who still insists that we spend yet more. The truth is that we now have debts that exceed our ability to pay - the definition of insolvency."

In addition to this unjustified approach to budgeting, Rohrer said, despite completely raiding the state's Rainy Day Fund to the tune of $750 million, raiding $800 million from the MCare fund and using other similar one-time funding sources, revenues have still failed to reach administration estimates.

"The administration raided these funds and it still isn't able to get the state in the black," Rohrer said. "The Rendell administration has used failed financing techniques and accounting gimmicks of overstating revenues and underestimating expenses and it is now undeniable. And yet, at the end of the day, they still haven't been able to make a $1.23 billion deficit disappear.

"On top of all of this, the governor claims that the state cannot reduce spending because everything is mandated. This, however, is simply not true. Continuing to spend recklessly despite lower revenues will either destroy any hope of economic recovery by raising taxes in the worst possible time, or will bring Pennsylvania face-to-face with bankruptcy."

Rohrer went on to cite state revenue statistics that May marks the 25th month in a row that the state collections have failed to meet the Rendell administration's projections, along with declining personal and corporate income tax revenues.

"The solution is to begin telling the truth to Pennsylvania citizens. Borrowing is out of the question. The governor cannot continue running to Washington to beg for more federal funds. Instead, he must take the lead to clean up waste, fraud and abuse. Instead of using state workers as bargaining chips, he must instead incentivize state workers to recommend ways to spend better and spend less.

"Our financial circumstances are dire and getting worse by the day. Stop the current nonsense and begin making decisions based on duty, financial reality and truth. We're running out of time!"
It should be noted that Rohrer was one of the few candidates for governor who talked seriously about the state's fiscal woes during the months leading up to the May 18 primary and what can be done to reverse the eight disastrous years under Rendell.

How to plug the oil leak

Weekly GOP Address: Investigate Obama White House

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

American Rivers Announces America's Most Endangered Rivers™ of 2010

American Rivers Announces America's Most Endangered Rivers™ of 2010

So much for the gun control argument

England Shooting Proves Fallacy of Restrictive Gun Laws, Says CCRKBA

Pennsylvania Slot Machine Revenue Rises 13% in May

Pennsylvania Slot Machine Revenue Rises 13% in May

Newspaper: Business as usual in our dysfunctional state government

The Pottstown Mercury recaps the recent reform recommendations made a grand jury, but is not very optimistic that anything will change in Harrisburg under the present leadership.

From the editorial:
"This grand jury concludes, without any hesitation, that the current operational structure and ingrained procedures of the Pennsylvania House Democratic and Republican caucuses are irretrievably broken and in desperate need of systemic change."

Indeed.

The findings released last week of a grand jury investigation into the Bonusgate legislative corruption scandal echoed the sentiments of many editorial writers and government observers in Pennsylvania. The system of governance in this commonwealth is in dire need of overhaul.

Pottstown tri-county area residents are fed up with the overspending, inefficiencies and waste in the Pennsylvania Legislature. They are fed up because these failures result in a heavy tax burden that serves the legislators more than it serves their constituents.

So, what's next?

Spokesmen for the caucuses in Harrisburg told the Associated Press that the report was being reviewed but declined further comment.

In other words, business as usual in our dysfunctional state government.
Read the full editorial, "State grand jury calls for radical legislative change," at the newspaper's Web site.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pennsylvania L&I Secretary Reminds Public of Child Labor Law During Summer Break

Pennsylvania L&I Secretary Reminds Public of Child Labor Law During Summer Break

Revenue Department Releases May Collections

Revenue Department Releases May Collections

Newspaper: Next governor must rally reform

Why would anybody in their right mind want to be the next governor of Pennsylvania?

You not only have the fiscal mess that Gov. Ed Rendell and the current Legislature left behind ($4.25 billion in deficits in just the past two years) but you have the perennial problem of reforming the most expensive and inefficient state legislature in the country.

From an editorial in the Times-Leader:
There's obviously a disconnect with a large segment of the public that lawmakers aren't acknowledging.

On one side, there's the voluntary report from a panel of 33 citizens whose two-year probe into illegal use of public resources resulted in 25 people being charged. Their investigation uncovered an institutionalized system rigged to keep lawmakers in power.

On the other side we have some modest operational changes that House leaders tout as reform.

The system clearly is in need of an overhaul, and it's up to the people to elect a governor who is up to the challenge.
Read the full editorial at the link below:

Next governor must rally reform | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA

See you tonight at Ursinus College

I'll be participating in a panel discussion on government reform tonight at Ursinus College. The event is free and open to the public.

From the office of Montgomery County state Rep. Mike Vereb:
COLLEGEVILLE — Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) encourages residents of the 150th Legislative District to attend his Government Reform Forum on Tuesday, June 1, at Ursinus College.

A panel of local and county government officials, as well as news reporters who cover the different levels of government, will be on hand to give their view on what government reforms need to be enacted and to answer questions from the audience.

The evening's panelists include: Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County district attorney; Jenny Brown, Lower Merion township commissioner; Stan Huskey, Norristown Times-Herald editor; Tony Phyrillas, Pottstown Mercury city editor; Alex Roarty, PoliticsPA correspondent; and Chris Freind, an independent columnist and investigative reporter based in Philadelphia.

This is an interactive event, with residents encouraged to submit questions for the panelists throughout the evening. Residents who are unable to attend are invited to submit questions for the panelists via Rep. Vereb's Web site, www.RepVereb.com

The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guest should use the Ninth Avenue entrance to enter the Ursinus College campus. Signs will be displayed throughout the campus to direct residents to Kaleidoscope Hall.

Columnist: Pennsylvania Legislature remains bloated by tradition

John Forester is a big-time liberal who usually gets it wrong on most political issues, but he's right on the money in his latest column about what's wrong with the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Check out his column in the Reading Eagle at the link below:

Pennsylvania Legislature remains bloated by tradition