Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Five and a half weeks ago, Governor Wolf and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania House and Senate announced a bi-partisan “budget framework” designed to end the long impasse over the budget. The framework agreement, like most compromises between parties that are far apart, pleased no one. But it provided enough to satisfy everyone.

Or so we thought. In the last two weeks, the House Republicans have backed away from the bi-partisan agreement. In the last two days, Speaker Turzai has been demanding that someone else — the Governor or the House Democrats—come up with the votes to enact the tax revenues that are a necessary part of the budget framework. As I write, efforts are continuing to find those votes, most of which in the House are going to come from Democrats.

Speaker Turzai, it appears, won’t lead in support of the budget framework, won’t follow it, and, won’t get out of the way. This is no way to run a government. Or as Capitolwire’s Chris Comisac observed, we need “more grown-ups in the state Capitol.”

Despite our own misgivings about the framework agreement, we have been urging our supporters and coalition members to call Representatives and Senators to support it and be prepared to vote for the new revenues it requires.  

But since the Speaker and the House Republicans have walked away from the framework, there is also one last opportunity to improve it: All (or most) of the new revenues should come from the personal income tax (PIT) not the sales tax. As we have pointed out, the PIT is a much more equitable way of raising revenue. And, because the PIT in Pennsylvania is only a flat tax it is a way raise revenues that conservatives can embrace as well.



0 comments posted

Post new comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the Keystone Research Center or Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and do not constitute official endorsement by either organization. Please note that comments will be approved during the Keystone Research Center's business hours.

If you have questions, please contact [email protected]

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.