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Kauffman and Rock Join Taxpayer Protest at State Capitol
6/9/2009
Lawmakers say state budget can be balanced without tax and fee increases
 
State Reps. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) and Todd Rock (R-Franklin) joined more than 30 lawmakers, state and national watchdog groups, and concerned citizens for a Pennsylvania State Capitol Taxpayers’ Protest today in Harrisburg.
 
“Enough is enough. Governor Ed Rendell is continuing to propose more state spending at a time when Pennsylvania is facing a $3.2 billion deficit. The only way to pay for his budget proposal is through a massive tax increase, which the people of Pennsylvania cannot afford in the face of a national economic recession that has them struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table,” said Kauffman. “Now, more than ever, is a time for restraint, a time for sound, fiscally responsible management of state funds. I have said for the past few years that the governor was leading us down a slippery slope of wreckless spending and excessive borrowing. Now here we are today with a burgeoning state deficit, record job losses and proposals from the leader of our state to tax us more. I think the people today have spoken – we have had enough. It is time to stop using the power of taxation to bankroll unproven programs and pet projects – the people of Pennsylvania deserve better.”
 
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Taxpayers’ Protest was held in response to comments from Rendell and House Democrat leadership suggesting an increase in taxes to pay for a proposed state budget spending increase of $1.2 billion over the current year. This increase in state spending comes at a time when state revenues are down by more than $3.2 billion for the year.
 
“Contrary to the governor's never-ending misinformation campaign, there are plenty of options on the table to balance the $3.2 billion Rendell budget deficit that do not involve further increasing the economic burden on working Pennsylvania families,” said Rock. “For example, if my Constitutional Amendment to cap government spending was already on the books, Pennsylvania would not even be discussing the potential of painful hiring freezes or government employee layoffs, recklessly draining our Rainy Day fund, imposing new tolls for I-80 or any other interstate highway, depending on yet another federal bailout, and, worst of all, enacting a massive tax increase not seen since the Casey administration. Its sole purpose is to control runaway state spending.
 
“Even in times of economic recession, one thing is certain. Pennsylvania is not and never was facing a funding crisis.   Nothing is going to change until this Legislature forces the governor, all state agencies, local school districts, and most importantly, itself to forever purge out-of-control spending habits” added Rock.
 
Under House Bill 1100, Rock's Tax and Expenditure Limitation Act (TEL), all state government spending would be constitutionally limited to the concurrent growth of inflation and population from the previous fiscal year.   Once enacted, the TEL could only be temporarily suspended in specific cases of declared emergencies and a three-fourths majority vote in both houses of the General Assembly.
 
In addition to lawmakers, featured speakers at the protest included: Al Bienstock, Citizens Against Higher Taxes; Josh Culling, National Taxpayers’ Union; Bob Durgin and R.J. Harris, WHP Radio 580; Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform; Kevin Shivers, National Federation of Independent Business; David Taylor, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association; Susan Staub, Right to Work; Jeffrey Trimbath, The Heritage Foundation; Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring; and many others.
 
Rep. Rob Kauffman
89th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 705-2004
Member Site: RepKauffman.com
Contact: Tricia G. Lehman
(717) 772-9840
Rep. Todd Rock
90th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(717) 783-5218
Contact: Ty McCauslin
(717) 772-9979
Member Site: RepRock.com
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com