Disingenuous Jan Jarrett

The PennFuture president yesterday continued her lamentation over a lame duck legislature’s failure to expand government, raise taxes and kill jobs:

“Every day that passes without a severance tax is money lost to Pennsylvania’s citizens and communities, with more than $107 million lost to the Commonwealth so far,” said Jarrett. “Meanwhile, our state budget is straining, Growing Greener funding (whee!) has all been spent, the Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission are struggling, and – perhaps worst of all – the municipalities that host the drillers are forced to look under the couch cushions for money to deal with the strain drilling is putting on their communities. This tax is desperately needed, and the members of the Senate decided to turn a deaf ear to that desperation.

“Because of the Senate’s refusal to act on the severance tax, we now have red ink as far as the eye can see,” Jarrett said. “Our current budget is out of balance because it relied on revenue from the promised severance tax. There are no new revenues anywhere in sight. And the drillers will continue to laugh all the way to the bank knowing they can play Pennsylvanians for suckers while they pay the tax everywhere else they drill.”

Comments like this are not surprising coming from someone willing to deceive the IRS. The premise that Pennsylvania citizens are “losing money” because a new tax isn’t created highlights her belief that little good happens without government involvement. And it doesn’t occur to Jarrett that mismanagement, excessive spending and stealing from the future have anything to do with state and local budget woes.

As for those allegedly scrounging municipalities, the residents of the Marcellus region apparently realize┬ánew jobs and revenues from all the new drilling may enable them to replace their own sofas without worrying about the town governments’ seat cushions. Meanwhile, the gas companies are working with locals to keep roads suitable for passage and are otherwise cooperating in the best interests of a long-term relationship with the communities they impact. The idea that this could happen without government bureaucrats’ help is inconceivable to Jarrett.

The Marcellus Shale boom presents tremendous opportunity for Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately with these blessings there are always leeches like PennFuture who want to use the cudgel of government to get a cut of the action, without contributing anything to the industry’s productivity. Jarrett wants citizens to believe dependence on a nonexistent severance tax caused government red ink rather than irresponsible spending and gross incompetence. As she strong-arms the gas industry in order to fill her own coffers, she’s the one playing Pennsylvanians for suckers.