HARRISBURG, PA (05.08.12) The Commonwealth Foundation applauded Pennsylvania
Senate leadership today for using the Taxpayer Protection Act index –
inflation plus population growth – to compose their fiscal year 2012-13
"Using the TPA index is a tremendous step toward extinguishing the fiscal fires
caused by years of overspending," said Matthew J. Brouillette, CF president and CEO.
"It is precisely the kind of prudent budgeting strategy that will get Pennsylvania families and job creators back on the road to prosperity."
However, the free-market think tank cautioned that the Senate’s proposed budget
would spend about $300 million more than forecast revenues (after refunds), based on official projections from the Independent Fiscal Office.
"With Pennsylvania’s ballooning welfare, corrections, pension, and debt costs, state government cannot continue spending more money than it is collecting," said Brouillette.
Due to these continuing threats, the group is calling on legislators to enact both the Taxpayer Protection Act and passage of a constitutional amendment version of the TPA to prevent future fiscal disasters. The TPA would limit the growth of state government spending to inflation plus population growth.
"It is an economic truth that you can grow the government or you can grow the
economy, but you can’t grow both," Brouillette said. He noted that states that have limited the growth in government spending have better economies.
"After the damage inflicted by decades of government growth, even modest increases in spending will hinder our economic recovery," said Brouillette. "With a four-alarm fiscal fire continuing to burn due to unsustainable growth in welfare and corrections spending, debt payments, and unfunded pension costs, lawmakers need to act now."
Policy analysts say the proposed TPA would ensure government lives within its means,provide tax relief for families and promote long-term economic growth. If the TPA had been applied on all state funds between FY 2003-04 through FY 2010-11, a cumulative $31.5 billion or $10,000 per family of four would have remained in the hands of taxpayers rather than state government.
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The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty. Contact Jay Ostrich at 717-649-6547 for more information.