Monday, June 7, 2010

Pennsylvania Today... You're Next

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

Back in April Pennsylvania's gov. Ed Rendell said "Budget shortfall?  We ain't got no budget shortfall."  Or something along those lines, as I noted HERE and HERE.  

And no way could it be a bil, nosirree.  Why, it was only $700 mil just two months ago.  A BIL by June 30?  Fageddaboutit.

He was kinda right, too.  It ain't gonna be a bil.  Nope, gonna be TWO BIL, is what it's gonna be.  May's tax revenue was short another $125 mil, but who coulda seen THAT coming?  Not Ed, not through his rose-colored glasses and bullet-proof windows.  On Friday he lost another $825 mil outta next year's budget in fedMed extension stimulus funds that the prez had promised.  Next year isn't looking all that good in Penn and it starts in, um, 21 days.

BTW, wasn't the stim supposed to be about the private sector and "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" (thank you NancyP) and not about propping up state and local gummints?  But I digress.

Last month Ed and his budget director told Penns that the deficit was only gonna be maybe $750 mil.  He had previously promised a surplus but chalk that up to political enthusiasm, not real-life lying.  In only 60 days the def went from $700 mil to $2.1 bil.  

What the heck do they pay those guys for?  The deficit TRIPLED in two months!  Thank God for huge pensions.  Ed's gonna need his.  Imagine how bad this woulda been if Ed hadn't been working his tail off.

So what's the cure?  The Penn legislature thinks they have the answer.  Yep, sin taxes... on cigars and chewing tobacco.  Stogies and chew, sure thing, that oughta do it.  

But, you know, what happens if people actually cut back as a result of sin taxes?  Wouldn't that be a problem, with less revenue and all as a result?  

This from, trying to spin the new taxes:  "And, the best news is that a tax on smokeless tobacco and cigars will reduce consumption by younger Pennsylvanians, lowering long term health risks and potentially saving lives."   And, um, lowering that planned revenue?  And say, are you having THAT big a problem with kids smoking all those cigars?  

Sing it again, WilleN: "Run that by me one more time."   

They are HARD pressed for "the best news" in Philly these days.

Course, ArnieS would just pee his workout shorts for that small a deficit.  His is bigger than Ed's.  Deficit, I mean.  By a factor of ten. 

Wait!  Ed!  What about a tax on taking out the garbage?  What?  And put all those cigar-smokin' kids out of work?  How will they afford their smokes and pay all those sin taxes?

* * * * *

Number one I think we should impose a fee or tax on the transportation of trash per mile.


We've been working our tail off and lead by that example.

both:  Ed Rendell

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry! That's other people's money. Right? It doesn't affect us. Right?? Good thing we live in Oregon where we don't have any fiscal problems... Don't we wish!!