From education to health care to public pensions, it seems like the answer to every problem—for some—is always more spending. But where does that money come from? And why doesn’t it ever seem to solve the problem?
Matt Brouillette debated taxes and spending with Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Executive Director Sharon Ward earlier this week on PCN TV’s Call-In Program. It would be an understatement to say their views differ.
One of the most frequently discussed sources of new revenue is a new severance tax on natural gas. This tax would be in addition to all the taxes businesses in that industry already pay. Matt says the industry should—and does—pay for the cost of government they use:
Beyond the question of whether it’s fair, would imposing a severance tax even cover the cost of new education funding proposals? If not, where will that extra money come from, since, as Matt says: “There isn’t a magic tree growing along the Susquehanna where this money comes from—it comes from working Pennsylvanians. And it will be the middle class that gets hit the hardest in this.”
Matt points at that we’re fooling ourselves if we think more money is the answer, especially when it comes to education. In Pennsylvania, per-pupil spending is already at an all-time high. More dollars won’t make more scholars: