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Forget the high-minded principles of our Founding Fathers, kiddies. In the real world, letting the fascists, totalitarians, morons, psychopa...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Battleground: Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth's new governor, Tom Corbett, is faced with a $4 billion deficit thanks to the arch-criminal Slow Eddie Rendell and the Okhrana "stimulus" scam. [No jobs were created or bridges fixed. It was simply a scheme to buy votes for thugs like Rendell with uncontrolled spending.]

Get your earplugs ready, kiddies. Every goon, loser, wretch, and leech is about to start howling about the fascists killing children and the poor with cuts to middle class entitlements like support for PA's public colleges. Luckily, The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, And 'Bortion is now a minority in both Houses of the Legislature.

If the totalitarians decide to put up a fight, look out. The battle for Pennsylvania will make Wisconsin look like afternoon tea.


From the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW:

Corbett drops budget ax on education, employees

HARRISBURG -- Facing an unprecedented $4.1 billion deficit, Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday presented to lawmakers a balanced budget totaling $27.3 billion that slashes spending, cuts the state work force and raises no taxes.

Corbett would erase the deficit by cutting $2.6 billion, relying on projected revenue growth, and tapping accounts such as the tobacco settlement fund. Higher education takes the biggest hit in this budget: a 50 percent funding cut for state-related and state-owned universities. In January, he froze $387 million in state spending, most of it for education.

"No other General Assembly or governor has faced the budget challenges that lie before us," Corbett said. In his first budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate, the Shaler Republican rejected increasing taxes, saying that would "choke growth."

"I want to say something you haven't heard enough from this building: We get the picture. It's your money," he said.

His 2011-12 spending plan is about $866 million, or 3.1 percent less than the current budget. That "essentially sets state spending at 2008-09 levels," the year the recession hit, said Budget Secretary Charles Zogby. Subsequent budgets were propped up by federal stimulus dollars, which ended this year.

Democrats labeled Corbett's plan an attack on working people and one that shifts tax burdens to local governments.

"This budget fails the governor's no-tax pledge," said Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster County. "It simply passes the tough choices on to counties, municipalities and school districts. They'll be the ones that will need to slash services for their residents and implement tax hikes."

"Working families and children are going to bear the brunt of this cost," said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills. "He let the business community off the hook, and it's not fair."

Corbett reiterated his opposition to a Marcellus shale natural gas tax, saying the industry is "the foundation of a new economy, not just something new to tax."

He wants to continue to phase out the capital stock and franchise tax, a levy on a business's assets. Creating a better business climate starts with lawsuit reform, Corbett said. "You shouldn't have to fight every lawyer with enough money to put up a billboard," he said.

"This is a Wall Street budget, not a Main Street budget," countered Rep. Joe Markosek of Monroeville, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

With most state union contracts set to expire in June, Corbett appeared to begin negotiations, saying, "I want to be clear about this to our union leaders: Collective bargaining doesn't mean some ill-defined middle ground. It means finding the spot where things work. In this case, it is going to have to work to the good of the taxpayer, or it's not going to work at all."

Said Rep. Curt Schroder, a Chester County Republican: "Unless (state union workers) want to see some (Wisconsin Gov.) Scott Walker-style justice, they'd better take this seriously."

Zogby urged school districts and teachers to agree to open labor agreements, so that teachers' salaries could be frozen to save districts $400 million.

"We are deeply concerned by Gov. Corbett's attempt to pit 'taxpayers' against public-sector employees," said AFL-CIO Secretary Frank Snyder. "Public-sector employees are taxpayers. These kinds of 'us versus them' tactics will only lead us to an economic race to the bottom."

Despite the cuts, some programs would continue at full funding, including the statewide film tax credit.

That "was encouraging for us," said Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who attended Corbett's address. He said the film tax credit could boost the city's chances of inclusion as a location for the next "Batman" movie.

The budget plan cuts overall state education funding by $2 billion and economic development spending by a third. It eliminates 1,500 state jobs, 500 through layoffs and the rest through attrition. More than 1,200 of the lost jobs would come from the Department of Public Welfare -- though that department would become the largest slice of state spending. Mental health services would lose 774 workers.

Public welfare spending would increase 6 percent, to $11.2 billion, driven by a $670 million increase for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and elderly. One change would limit Medicaid recipients to one dental visit a year.

"The voters spoke when they elected Gov. Corbett. He promised no tax increases, and he lived up to his promise," said Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District. "My fear is, those most in need will suffer."

The amount the Legislature spends on itself would decrease 1.4 percent, to $296 million, a smaller percentage cut than at least 13 other agencies including the departments of Agriculture, Education, Emergency Management and Health.

The Department of Corrections would get a $13 million increase, to nearly $1.9 billion. The Department of Community and Economic Development's budget would decrease 34 percent.

Many Republicans said they liked Corbett's message.

"I think it's the right tone -- that we can dig our way out of our problems," said Rep. Tim Krieger, R-Delmont.

"Pennsylvania must live within its fiscal means," said Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield. "For the past eight years, the previous administration has taxed, borrowed and irresponsibly spent our state residents' hard-earned dollars."

House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said Republicans in control of the General Assembly would ensure Corbett's budget passes by the June 30 deadline.

"It means we stop the one-time fixes and gimmicks that have barely held the machine of government together," Corbett said. "It's time to peel off the duct tape and get to work on what's broken underneath."


Highlights

THE BIG PICTURE:

-- An overall decrease in spending of about 3 percent.

-- About $27.3 billion in taxes, fees and other state revenue.

-- No increase in the state income or sales tax.

REVENUE

-- Projected general revenue growth of $1.1 billion, or more than 4 percent, in 2011-12, including transfers from the national tobacco settlement and other special funds.

-- A projected $586 million surplus at the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

-- The continuation of the scheduled phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax on businesses, now scheduled to expire in 2014. The rate drops from 2.89 mills in 2011 to 1.89 mills in 2012.

-- No tax on natural gas drilling.

SPENDING

-- A 52 percent reduction, or $625 million, for the 14 state-owned universities in the of Higher Education, plus Pitt, Temple, Penn State and Lincoln.

-- A 10 percent reduction, of $550 million, in funding for K-12 instruction in public schools.

-- The elimination of $484 million in "accountability" grants for public schools and reimbursements to school districts for the loss of students who transfer to charter schools.

-- A 7 percent increase to $11.2 billion for the Department of Public Welfare, which includes health care for the poor, child care and services for the disabled.

-- $1.95 billion, no change, for the Corrections Department.

-- A 9 percent increase, to $1.1 billion, for debt service payments.

STATE JOBS

-- 1,550 state positions eliminated, including 1,211 from the Department of Public Welfare

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

-- Creation of the Liberty Loan Fund, to consolidate existing private-sector financing programs, and Pennsylvania First, a $25 million competitive grant program.


From Philly.com:

The text of Gov. Corbett’s budget address


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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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