In an interview with the PLS Reporter on Tuesday, Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) left the door wide open for increasing the personal income tax (PIT) or sales and use tax (SUT). The subject of the interview was the progress of the budget as it related to the "framework" the Governor and members of the Senate have agreed to support.
The framework budget would require additional tax increases or finding additional revenue of more than $1 billion for the first two years. Despite strident opposition to tax increases among the majority of Republicans in the House, and possibly a majority overall, Senate leadership is still pursuing a path that would require taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets in support of ever-growing government, earmarks, and pork barrel spending.
Although Sen. Corman makes his willingness to raise taxes conditional upon pension reform, it stands in stark contrast to the more fiscally sound approach to cutting spending to match available revenue. Like many other things, government approaches budgeting backwards. Elected officials have a tendency to decide how much they want to spend and then find ways to obtain the funds to make that happen. Businesses and families take the opposite approach, we see how much money we have and budget accordingly.
The approach of matching spending to revenues is the approach being advocated by two lawmakers Sen. Scott Wagner and Rep. Rick Saccone. Wagner is looking for concrete examples of what waste, corporate welfare, etc. can be cut from the budget. On the other hand, Saccone is calling for a one percent across the board cut. It certainly is not unreasonable to ask the government to cut one penny out of every dollar currently spent. These are the kinds of options Sen. Corman and Gov. Wolf should consider before forcing taxpayers to sacrifice even more to feed the Leviathan of state government.