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|Philadelphia County, PA||November 4, 2008 Election|
Why are we spending and borrowing our future away in Pa?
By John FarleyCandidate for State Senator; District 5
This information is provided by the candidate
Why does Governor Rendell and the Pennsylvania General Assembly continue to borrow and spend at a terrible price to the present and future economic health of Pennsylvania?The Pennsylvania State Budget proposed by Governor Rendell in 2008 was over 28 billion dollars!!! This in a state that has too high of a tax burden for its citizens and small business owners. This in a state that finds 50 million dollars to bring a professional soccer team to Chester but, can not find the political will to get an up or down vote on Pa House Bill 1189, (the Commonwealth Police Act).
(This important bill would add 10,000 new police officers throughout Pennsylvania. In the city of Philadelphia the annual murder rate the past several years is around 400. In New York City, (with a population that is 7 times higher than Philadelphia), the 2007 murder rate was around 500. This is why I have I will make sure that the Commonwealth Police Act is the first piece of legislation that I will co-sponsor in the Penna. State Senate in 2009!) I love soccer but, I love police officers patrolling the streets of Pennsylvania even more.
The state's highway and construction budget was raided in 2005 to avert a potential mass transit strike in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, we are seeing that our roads and bridges are crumbling and the money is no longer there to solve this long-term problem. Ed Rendell proposes adding tolls and fees to Route I-80. This only passes on the fees of government to truckers, businessmen, and tourist. Does our legislature seem concerned? No! Why not?
A recent study has shown that Pennsylvania is underfunding its schools by over 5 billion dollars!!! The state's ratio in funding the schools in the counties throughout Pennsylvania is currently a proportion of 35% by the state and 65% by the local cities and town throughout the Commonwealth. This was completely reversed as recently as 1986. Why has this become a fact of life in Harrisburg?
So, the questions are simple. If our taxes are too high, if we have too much crime and not enough police, if our basic infrastructure throughout our state is crumbling and falling apart, if our children are being educated in crowded, old schools, if our local municipalities are being asked to spend double on the failing schools, (that still do not properly prepare the young minds of tomorrow), then they did just 20 years ago, and we are still underfunding our schools throughout Pennsylvania by 5 billion dollars, then is it really any wonder that Pennsylvania continues to lag behind other states in new population?
Is it any wonder that this state is experiencing a "brain drain" with students, teachers, scientists, and research and development technicians moving out of Pennsylvania on a daily basis? Is it any wonder that only 18% of the adult population in Philadelphia have a bachelors degree from a college or university? That only 22% of all Pennsylvania residents have completed 4 years of college?
Also, ask yourself the following questions;
(1) What happended to the over one billion dollar "Rainy Day Fund" left by former Governor Ridge in 2001? Where did all that money go? What happens if our state falls into a deep recession?
(2) With all of the borrowing and spending occuring in Washington these days, do we really believe that either President Obama or President McCain will be going coming in to save the day, and bail out Pennsylvania in an economic crisis? I think not!!
(3) With all of the spending and taxing being done by the Rendell Administration over the past 5 1/2 years, why do bonds continue to be floated to our state? Why do we continue to borrow and pile up "off-the-books" debt? Who is going to pay for this debt when the next Pennasylvania Governor takes over in January, 2011?
(4) With our economy in a recession in 2008, with over four dollars-a-gallon gasoline prices, with the current housing and mortagage crisis, with massive numbers of new forclosures, with the government bailout of "Fanny" and "Freddie", with an all-time record number of personal bankruptcies, with over 600,000 lost jobs, higher unemployement, higher inflation, and lower wages being brought home by middle-class America, driven down even lower by all of the taxing and spending in Pennsylvania, how can we continue to borrow, tax, and spend like there is no tomorrow? Where is the money? Where is the beef in Governor Rendell's new spending proposals? Who is going to pay for it?
(5) Finally, ask yourself the question Ronald Reagan asked Jimmy Carter in October, 1980; Are you really better off today that you were 4 years ago? 2 years ago? I think in Pennsylvania we all know what that answer is. NO!!!!
WHAT IS THE ANSWER???
The time has come to put our state government on a diet! I have signed the "No New Tax Pledge". Has your State Senator, State Representative and any other State Assembly candidate in Pennsylvania signed this same pledge? Ask them, why not? I also vow to hold the line on new borrowing and spending when I am elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate. I will work to keep the budget under 29 billion dollars over the next 4 years. I will not propose any new spending increases unless I can find an offset in the state budget that can be trimmed or cut.
It is time to end the "pork barrel" spending, the special district "earmarks", and the "walking around money". This is our hard-earned tax money. This money belongs to us and not the career politicians, the lawyers, and the lobbyists who continue to walk the halls of Harrisburg!
We need to trim the fat and waste in the cost of doing business in Harrisburg. We need to examine why we have the 2nd most expensive state government in the United States. Do we really need 203 State Representatives and 50 State Senators? Can we not cut our elected officials in half and still give the citizens of Pennsylvania the government that they need and deserve? I am the only candidate who has proposed limiting legislative terms in Pennyslvania to 12 years.
I am the only candidate in Pennsylvania who is willing to cut his own legislative district out of its county seat in Harrisburg! I also propose that any rise in taxes, home property taxes, or new "government fees" would need a referendum to be put on a state-wide ballot. We also need a constituitional convention in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has not had one since 1967!! We need fundamental changes in how the government is run in Harrisburg.
We need to fight for term limits and smaller, more efficient government. I am the only candidate running in Philadelphia this year who has already term-limited himself!! I will only stay in Harrisburg no more than 8 years. Just remember folks, ..."absolute power corrupts absolutetly...!" Get rid of the life-time appointments to legislative seats and let's bring in new blood who will represent our interests in Harrisburg!
If we want safer streets, more police, better roads and bridges, higher quality schools, and financial stability in our state, then we must lower taxes, cut spending, stop borrowing and stop adding mounds and mounds of new debt. My priorities in my first term in Pennsylvania all revolve aroung one issue, bringing fiscal sanity back to state government. If I do not succeed in doing that in Harrisburg, then I will not run or seek reelection to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2012.
That is my number one goal and pledge to you in this election. To get better results from our state government. We need to get "more bang for our bucks", and we can do this today while we are still cutting personal state taxes and business state taxes. We can and must do this for our present and for the future of Pennsylvania. If this sounds like a plan that you can support, then please support me in our bid to bring state government back to the people. Support John Farley for the Pennsylvania State Senate, District #5, in November,2008. Thank you.
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