Reese says Budget Fails to Plan for Future
Rep. Mike Reese (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) today issued the following statement regarding passage of a state budget contained in House Bill 1416 and associated legislation:
“It is a grave disservice to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania that a budget was approved that raises taxes by more than $1 billion, and does not cut spending in advance of more difficult economic times ahead. In this economic recession, true leadership means cutting spending as far as possible and maintaining reserves that can help sustain the Commonwealth through a prolonged difficulty. This budget and tax code does not accomplish any of that. This budget completely drains the MCare Fund, which will once again hamper our physicians in Pennsylvania in their efforts to sustain their practices in the face of confiscatory malpractice insurance rates, and totally wipes out the Rainy Day Fund. This is a rough economic time, but taking away all of the reserve funds in this one budget is incredibly short-sighted and reckless.
“I am highly disappointed that, after all of this delay, all of the talks, all of the effort put forward, we have ended up with a plan that fails to address the long-term deficit and anticipate the heightened problem coming when the federal stimulus dollars stop coming. Couple with that, the pending rise in energy prices and the uncertainty of the economic recovery in the months and years ahead; there is a storm that is gathering that may well be worse than the one we are in already. There has been a slight reduction in spending, but this does not close a $3 billion deficit when the stimulus funds disappear. We must also include in this thinking, the likelihood of federal tax increases to pay for the aforementioned stimulus funding, and the health care plan that they finally ram through in Washington. This coming burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers is not being considered in this state budget.
“There is another issue we will face as well-a pension cost spike is looming which is only going to only add to our economic problems in the years ahead. There has been no effort to address this yet, and in this action, we are only putting off a problem that should have been handled by now.
“Prudence dictates that advance planning and preparation take an even stronger role when times are difficult. This budget does not get that done. The tax increases are unwarranted, the spending levels are still too high and the depletion of the reserve funds is uncalled for.
“I will redouble my efforts to help get state government to see the light of reason and bring our spending down to levels that can be sustained in these bad economic times, and place us on a more solid footing to face the future.”
Rep. Mike Reese
59th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(724) 423-6503
Contact: Raymond Smith
(717) 705-1834
House Republican Public Relations
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