Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WAM BAM No Thank You PA Legislature

In reflecting on the Pennsylvania Legislature yesterday I went from totally amazed to unbelievable to disheartening. Except for the HOUSE GOP everyone else compromised to tax the arts, theatre, non-profits and the like for what reason???

The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a apropos editorial today about the WAM money that was saved in the Pennsylvania budget deal reached by the three caucuses.

The budget deal in Harrisburg will cut funding for libraries, social services, and education, but legislators plan to keep plenty of taxpayers' money for their own special "needs." Budget negotiators have set aside at least $100 million for what's known as "walking-around money." WAMs are discretionary grants that individual lawmakers hand out to favored groups in their home districts with little justification and no accountability.

WAMs are also a great way for incumbents to help ensure their reelection. It's no coincidence that legislative leaders have made this honeypot available now - all 203 House seats and half of the 50 Senate seats are up for election next fall.

This legislature does not excel at much, but it is superb at looking out for itself. Legislators know there will be plenty of anti-incumbent sentiment at the polls next year.

There's anger over the budget impasse, criminal trials will begin this winter over alleged illegal bonuses to legislative staffers, and electric rates will soar when rate caps expire next year. It's just the kind of environment in which millions in WAMs could buy an endangered incumbent some goodwill back home.

It is time for a second revolution.


Anonymous said...

cut funding for Education? are you sure, here is a release by Sen Baker on the budget that was passed

Budget Statement by Senator Lisa Baker

"This probably was the most challenging state budget in Pennsylvania history, given the tough economic situation and the record drop in state revenues. It was complicated by Governor Rendell's determination to raise taxes to boost spending, particularly on education programs.

Legislators heard something very different in their districts – most people opposed tax increases of any kind, and wanted the budget balanced through spending cuts and program elimination.

In terms of bringing spending in at a lower level than last year, and avoiding increases in the state personal income tax and the sales tax, this budget is better than those negotiated during previous budget crises.

Nevertheless, I cannot support the tax increases or the expansion of gambling that are part of paying for the budget. Consistent with that position, I cannot support the spending level contained in the budget itself.

Within the budget, I believe that Governor Rendell insisted on too much money for education, to the detriment of the many other areas of state responsibility, such as human services, which sustained even greater reductions as a result.

While it is a relief that a final budget is within reach, the amount of time it took to reach this point is inexcusable. Service providers, schools, students, and families should not have had to suffer the uncertainty, the disruptions, and the costs inflicted because of the prolonged dispute."

BOOST spending on education, no Mr MrGruff education is important to Democrats, can you believe the Senators comments, "spend to much on education" is that possible. think if we didnt spend on our children, they might not ever become Dentist, pharmacists, engineers, etc...

you need to check your source on this, either you are wrong, or Sen baker is wrong,

McGruff said...

That statement was contained in the editorial of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Check it for yourself.

McGruff said...

You may want to look at this also

I also believe you are twisting Senator Baker's words. She talks about Rendell's initial requests, not the final version of the budget.

McGruff said...

If you read that article you will see that initially Rendell wanted $418 million and he agreed to $300 million in the deal, so Senator Baker is correct and so is my post.

McGruff said...

This post was about the WAM money. Since you didn't oppose my post I take it you are in agreement.

Anonymous said...

in agreement, you arent serious? you mean we can actually fund education to much and dont tax smokeless tobacco, gas extraction companies raping our enivronement, you are as insane as the Dear Senator, who by the way voted against HB1828,

you can have her.

McGruff said...

C' mean you can't hold a meaningful debate. You know I said you are in agreement with the WAM money, not education funding. I said you are a funny person...and frustrated too.

So you feel that education funding can't be balanced with funding for the less fortunate who also need society's help?? That is the question Lisa Baker posed but you fail to answer. You turn it into smokeless tobacco and gas extraction..

I'm insane.. your kind voted to tax non profit arts, theater, small games of chance, reduce educational funding...start table games but not gamblers anonymous, raise business tax to drive them out of the state...5-30% increase in pension payments,fund big Hollywood studios, keep funding ACORN, try to sell an increase in tobacco tax when the last time you lost $72 million in revenue,

Did you bother to read the reaction in your district..

Or maybe they got the wrong first name here

You should really read this editorial...

Take care..

ohh btw rape!!! you mean the fall foilage we are about to experience is because somebody screwed a tree without its consent. you can't be mean the fresh crisp air is because someone's semen polluted mean Lake Irene is polluted so we should not have Opening Day next year...Eagle Rock should shut down its ski slopes...The Pocono's should close...Beech Mountain should close the beach....The Game Commission should call off hunting season....please explain who raped what environment.

Anonymous said...

no the idea to tax the arts and other venues was a Senate Republican idea.

and the rape i talk about is the coal mines in our area. you know the ones that the Mayor is filling with toxic dredge and now crushed construction debris from Jersey and New York. again we are used as guinea pigs, but that is ok the docs and pharmacist and other medical people will profit. i got it!!

McGruff said...

You mean the toxic dredge that the Department of Environmental Protecteion cleared as non-toxic.

Or is it that your boss doesn't tell you these things from Harrisburg. Oh, that's right your boss is the one who tried to fuel hysteria over the dredge for his political gain only to have it flop in his face again when DEP approved it.

“The company’s proposal meets DEP’s strict regulations and includes conditions to ensure the safe and effective use of this material in construction,” DEP Northeast Regional Director Michael Bedrin said.

The coal mines are rape. Are you telling me your boss wants those jobs eliminated as well? Why doesn't he come out and tell the people that position?

Do resturateurs profit???

You are a funny kinda guy.

McGruff said...

Your mistake is believing only one person contributes to this site. And you are way off in your assumption.