Spending limit fear-mongering addressed

Harrisburg Patriot-News
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stephen Herzenberg of the Keystone Research Center letter (Dec. 13) criticizes, in a most fascinating way, the proposed Taxpayer Fairness Act (Senate Bill 4 and House Bill 2082), which would implement common-sense spending controls for the state budget by tying increases to the rate of inflation.

Exhibiting the wisdom one would expect from a liberal think tank dedicated to expanding government spending, Mr. Herzenberg claimed that an $800 million increase in state spending is “nominal” — not “real.” Well, real people know that $800 million is real money. No amount of spin or rhetoric can transform $800 million into a “nominal” amount of money.

Mr. Herzenberg also chose to ignore — as have other critics — the fact that our plan includes a provision allowing the spending cap to be exceeded if two-thirds of the General Assembly agrees to do it. In other words, if there’s a serious budget situation that needs to be addressed, our plan provides the flexibility to do that.

However, discussing such facts would not contribute to the fear-mongering that Mr. Herzenberg and others who would prefer uncontrolled state spendiung have decided to engage in.

Chief of Staff for Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill, R-Lebanon