New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2014

State budget costs hurt economic growth

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

John K. Manna’s recent column (“Lagging Revenues Create Budget Woes,” June 9) says chronic taxpayer burdens like our $50 billion state pension liability or welfare spending have nothing to do with our current budget shortfall.

The reality is the growing cost of state government is dragging down the economy, which means shortfalls in tax collections and, more important, stagnant incomes and less opportunity for families across the commonwealth.

In contrast, Utah and Indiana have tackled these cost drivers and are now enjoying budget surpluses.

State spending is indeed excessive. This year, Pennsylvania taxpayers will hand over $700 million for fruitless economic development projects and corporate welfare. Recent examples of these grants include $3 million for Second Mile, the Jerry Sandusky charity, and millions for monuments to politicians, including the Arlen Specter library and the John Murtha Center for Public Policy.

If we can find the will to reform pensions and restructure our welfare programs, we relieve the pressure for higher taxes and, in turn, jump-start the economy. A vibrant economy means revenue will climb, solving our budget problems.

Elizabeth Stelle

Ludwig Road

Neshannock Township

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