Wolf’s ‘Compromise’ Rings Hollow
Who’s Really Being ‘Disingenuous’ During Budget Talks?
As budget negotiations continue, Gov. Wolf recently called Republicans “disingenuous” for criticizing his pension “compromise.” But Wolf’s so-called “compromise” uncannily mirrors his original plan and does not address his plan to increase taxes on Pennsylvanians by $1,400 per family of four.
“True compromise is more than repeating your demands,” said Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation.
Under Wolf’s latest pension proposal, just 5 percent of state employees—specifically, new employees earning more than $100,000 annually—would receive a defined contribution plan, and only on their income above that threshold. Wolf would retain almost entirely the current unsustainable defined benefit plan.
“Gov. Wolf feels he’s made ‘concessions on everything,’ while putting next to nothing on the table,” Benefield continued. “His new proposal fails to get politics out of pensions or end the underfunding which has created this crisis.
“Moreover, Gov. Wolf still wants to borrow $3 billion in pension obligation bonds, burdening our children and grandchildren with $5.5 billion in costs over the next 30 years. This idea has been panned by rating agencies, financial experts, and even Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
“If Wolf truly wants to compromise, he should abandon his insistence on imposing crushing new taxes on Pennsylvania families and embrace real pension reform.”
Wolf’s so-called “compromise” keeps:
- Wolf’s original spending plan,
- Wolf’s original plan to increase the income tax,
- Wolf’s original plan to increase the sales tax,
- Wolf’s original plan to tax day care, nursing home care, funerals, college meal plans, and dozens of other items,
- Wolf’s plan to tax natural gas, resulting in higher energy costs on consumers,
- Wolf’s original plan to retroactively increase taxes on bank savings, and
- Wolf’s original plan to increase taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Benefield and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment today. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.
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