The Morning Call implies that Sen. Regola (the prime sponsor of the Constitutional Amendment version of the legislation) only supports the legislation to distract from his legal situation (in which a teenage neighbor used Regola’s gun in what was ruled a suicide). The Morning Call fails to mention that Sen. Regola has been working to get 27 other legislators to co-sponsor this legislation, that the initial proposal was announced in January, with other legislators and policy groups (including the Commonwealth Foundation).
The Morning Call even tries to contrast Regola’s bill with Sen. Folmer’s bill for statutory spending limits, though the two bills are essentially identical, and Senators Folmer and Regola worked together (along with consultation from the Commonwealth Foundation) on crafting these bills, agreeing to shift off on the primary sponsorship credit. A Constitutional Amendment is necessary, as statutory spending limits (requiring a 2/3rds majority to exceed the spending cap) is ineffective when a majority can repeal such a law.
The editorial goes on to add such tired rhetoric as claiming spending caps are “lawmaker’s excuse for avoiding difficult taxing and spending decisions”. In truth, spending limits would finally force lawmakers to set priorities and make decisions about spending, rather than grant every request of the spending lobby.
They even use the inane claim (debunked by the Commonwealth Foundation) used by the spending lobby that “the constitution already requires the governor and Legislature to pass a balanced budget every year”. What nonsense. A balanced budget merely implies that they can’t spend more than they take in taxes which “limits” state spending to what we could take with a 100% income tax.
It goes to show that the critics of spending limits will stop at nothing to stop at nothing to prevent good public policy.
In his blog earlier this week, John Micek wondered why the Morning Call was called a “liberal newspaper” – this is why, John.