The Trump Budget

Originally published at Third and State.   President Trump’s budget is a triple betrayal of his campaign promises, of working people in Pennsylvania and around the country, and of a uniquely-American economic order that has created the shared prosperity that America once enjoyed and should enjoy again. The President is, first, betraying his promise not to cut Medicaid, Social Security, and the social safety net, that is, programs relied on by those left behind in a changing economy. In doing so he is, second, betraying the promise that America has made to working people to ensure that they have the important assistance to meet basic living standards: food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care that millions of Pennsylvanians rely on. The budget proposal calls for a huge reduction in these vital programs in order to give massive tax breaks to the wealthy and … Continue reading

The Imaginarium of Pat Toomey and Kevin Ferris

Today in the Inquirer, Kevin Ferris channels PA Senator Pat Toomey, who has been providing a Republican spin on the failure of the Super Committee. In the imagniarium of Pat Toomey and Kevin Ferris, the Senator courageously broke with fellow Republicans to propose a balanced, bi-partisan deal that would combine $450 million in tax increases along with $750 million in budget cuts to meet the Super Committee’s ten year goal. In rejecting this proposal, President Obama and the Democrats showed that they don’t truly want a balanced bipartisan solution to the deficit problem. This is what the proposal looks like when you take off the funny glasses. Toomey’s proposal would have raised revenue slightly—no more than $45 billion a year. But most of that increase would have come from the middle class not the rich. Toomey proposed to reduce the marginal tax rates for everyone by 20%. However, the absolute … Continue reading

The Cost of the Bush Era Tax Cuts

Ten years of the Bush Tax Cuts have cost us $2.5 trillion.  They were a $2.5 trillion dollar gamble that if we pushed enough money into the pockets of millionaires, billionaires and giant corporations, some of it would fall out and land on the rest of us.  We know what happened – that money stayed in those overstuffed pockets.  But, as Think Progress says, it didn’t have to be that way: Here are ten alternatives we could’ve pursued instead: – Give 122.7 Million Children Low-Income Health Care Every Year For Ten Years – Give 49.2 Million People Access To Low-Income Healthcare Every Year For Ten Years – Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years – Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years – Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years – … Continue reading

Pa. GOP leaders should lobby Congress for extra stimulus dollars

Published in the Harrisburg Post-Gazette, July 1, 2010 Though Gov. Rendell and legislative leaders have reached an agreement, we still face a potential budget catastrophe. Only Republicans — gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett, Lt. Gov. Joseph Scarnati, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and House Minority Leader Sam Smith — can prevent it.   Continue reading

The Republican Gang of Six and the PA State Budget

In Pennsylvania today, we face an budget crisis of huge proportions. In the face of drastically reduced revenues due to the recession, the state faces a enormous deficit. And there are only two ways to deal with it. The Republicans in the State Senate have proposed massive reductions in state spending that would had devastating effects on education and health care, particularly for children. The Democrats, lead by Governor Rendell, have proposed temporarily raising the state income tax, which is one of the lowest in the country. The state budget crisis is all about the Republicans in Pennsylvania being captured by the extreme anti-tax, anti-government ideology that has dominated the Republican party in the South and West for years but is relatively new here. These ain’t your grandfather’s Republicans. And, frankly, when Republicans control the Senate by ten seats, I’m not sure there is all that much we can do … Continue reading