“Cuts First, Taxes Last”

The Philadelphia Inquirer comes out with an editorial calling for cutting wasteful spending in the state budget before talking about a tax increase. Here are some of the points they raise:

The credibility of both Democratic and Republican legislators as stewards of tax money is in tatters.

The fraud conviction of former State Sen. (and chief appropriator) Vincent J. Fumo of Philadelphia showed how gleefully some legislators waste tax dollars on themselves.

And then there’s the ongoing corruption prosecution against a dozen current and former House Democratic officials for allegedly doling out taxpayer-funded bonuses to staffers as a reward for campaign work. In a two-year period, Democrats and Republicans paid nearly $2 million in bonuses to legislative aides.

Legislators can’t waste tax money to that degree, and then turn around and tell taxpayers with a straight face that state government has been cut to the bone.

They even take a whack at education spending, in advance of Gov. Rendell’s taxpayer-funded bus tour:

After five consecutive years of hefty school-aid increases, perhaps districts could get by for one year with a smaller increase.

See more on that here and here.