A person is leaving Pennsylvania every 12 minutes. Why? Because as President Harry Truman said: “In periods when there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Pennsylvania has no leadership. There are no Republican leaders and there are no Democratic leaders. Is Governor Wolf, Speaker Turzai, or Senate Majority Leader Corman providing courageous, skillful leadership? Do they provide a set of common goals? Are they authentic and open? Do they have integrity? Can you trust them to look out for you? Do they build consensus and bring solutions to problems? Do they inspire us? With a person leaving Pennsylvania every 12 minutes, I would argue no.
It is now August. Our State budget was to be completed by June 30th. For years we have had a growing deficit with our state budget. It is now $2.2Billion! State Treasurer Torsella said that our bank balance would fall below $0 by August 29th. Is anyone really solving the problem or are we going to raise taxes again and again … and again. Pennsylvania is already the 3rd highest taxed state. Are we going to borrow money again and again… and again? And of course we will depend on revenue from gambling programs that have yet to be voted on.
Our “leadership” touted recently that they have solved the Pension Crisis. Typical politicians. Did you know that our state pension fund is still short $62 Billion based on an annual investment return of 7.25%? In reality our unpaid obligations are more like $120 Billion because the actual return on investments are much less. The recently touted solution to the Pension Crisis only addresses part of the problem and increases property taxes in every county in the state by tripling the contributions required from each school district. Hope is not leadership. We won’t hear anything from “leadership” again until pensioners stop getting checks.
I will not leave Pennsylvania. I am going to stand and fight. Let’s do this:
- Increase the property tax rebate program so no senior citizen will ever lose their house because they have to decide between food, medicine and property taxes.
- Fix the state pension fund and let’s start by removing all state elected politicians from getting a pension.
- Let’s create good jobs by focusing our investment strategies on supporting small businesses and building communities.
- Let’s create a tax policy that is fair so businesses and individuals want to come to Pennsylvania.
- Let’s make PA financially sound and stop borrowing money to pay the bills.
All it takes is a little courage and a little leadership. But all we hear is that it is the Governor’s fault that nothing is getting done and Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans. It is always someone else’s fault. It is never our legislator’s fault. Or is it? “Without leadership, society stands still.” If you are not one of those who is leaving PA every 12 minutes, perhaps it is time to rethink our choices at the ballot box.
Allentown, PA 18102