A recent letter by former State Representative Tim Seip, who was defeated in the 2010 election, criticized us for voting in favor of the 2011-12 fiscal year state budget back in June but failed to mention some very important facts.
Mr. Seip claims a "chainsaw" was dropped on public education. However, he fails to mention that the 2011 state budget increased the state's investment by more than 4.6 percent, or $233 million, in education from last year without any tax increases. At the same time, overall state spending was cut by $3.3 billion due to the loss of $2.75 billion in federal funding and the effects of the worst recession in generations. This responsible budget set priorities to put Pennsylvania on a fiscally sustainable path that won't pass the burden on to taxpayers.
That's a far cry from the 2010 Rendell budget, supported by Mr. Seip, but opposed by us.
In 2010, the state budget increased our state's deficit by $3 billion, spending way beyond our means. In the midst of the worst economic recession in generations, Mr. Seip and Gov. Rendell pushed for a four percent increase in state spending.
Mr. Seip continues to argue in favor of more taxes to fix our fiscal crisis. We must tighten our belts with state spending much like we are doing at home. Taxpayers are already overburdened with frivolous taxes and Seip's solution is more taxes and more spending. With this message, we were not surprised when Mr. Seip was defeated by the voters in Schuylkill and Berks County in 2010, despite major financial support from Governor Rendell.
We need to look for ways to cut waste, fraud and abuse within state government and create a better environment for job creators. We cannot simply send more reckless spending bills to the taxpayers, as Mr. Seip has advocated.
Senator David G. Argall