Center for Taxes & Fiscal Responsibility
The Center for Taxes & Fiscal Responsibility works to reduce the size, scope, and “tax-take” of state government; restore the government sector to its proper and limited role in our lives; and make government more open, transparent, and accountable to citizens.
Pop quiz: What’s the largest spending increase in Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal? You might assume education, as the governor has repeatedly insisted the state must reinvest in public schools. Paying for ballooning public pension costs would also be a reasonable guess. But neither is correct.
Today, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed historic pension reform legislation that would have safeguarded public employees’ retirements while protecting Pennsylvanians from burdensome tax increases.
In his 2015 budget address, Gov. Tom Wolf urged dissenters, “If you don’t agree with my ideas, here is my request: please come with your own ideas. It's not good enough to just say no and continue with the same old same old.” Talk is one thing—action is another.
Within hours of receiving the Legislature’s budget, Governor Wolf issued a blow to working families by vetoing the on-time, no-tax-hike spending plan. The truth is, Gov. Wolf’s own plan is grossly out of line with every other state in the union put together. All 49 other states combined are decreasing spending by $1.5 billion, yet Wolf is demanding a $4.6 billion increase for Pennsylvania.
Last night, the Pennsylvania Legislature sent a monumental public pension reform measure to Gov. Wolf’s desk that gives new state employees and school teachers a hybrid defined contribution and cash balance retirement plan.
June 30, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Today, the General Assembly passed a state budget that respects Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned incomes by avoiding tax hikes while investing responsibly in the state’s future.
Family ties can bind us together across any cultural or class boundary. Maintaining and promoting them should be our first priority. But while politicians routinely give lip service to helping families like yours and mine prosper, I’ve found that their solutions often do more harm than good.
Today, the state House of Representatives passed a state budget that lives within its means without demanding higher taxes on Pennsylvania’s working families—rejecting the record-setting tax increases proposed by Gov. Wolf earlier this year.
Dear Governor Wolf: As you pursue massive tax increases on working Pennsylvanians and rebuke legislators and job creators for “appeas[ing] oil and gas special interests,” I felt it necessary to point out your own appeasement of certain private, political special interests—the government union leaders.
Pension costs are ballooning, threatening to consume funds for education, public safety and welfare. Without timely reform, Pennsylvanians will face cuts to services, teacher layoffs, and higher property taxes. Yet there is widespread confusion about the impact of pension reform.
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Who are We?
The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank. The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.