Monday, November 28, 2005

Fairness to Some is Not Fairness

As truth in advertising I will admit to not having read in depth on this topic, so the opinions presented here are not as well-grounded in fact as perhaps they should be.

The PA House and Senate have each passed some form of the "Taxpayer Fairness Act," and are now trying to reconcile some details. Here is a conservative view. Here is a liberal view. Here is a blog on the topic managed by the chief of staff of the prime sponsor (Sen. Brightbill).

In my limited understanding this seems to be a legal way of limiting the state's spending. Here's why I don't like it: Our illustrious elected officials, who, under present leadership, think it is just fine to rig their voting machines and then leave town, don't see any reason to make lobbyists report what they have spent on whom or why, have liberal campaign finance regulations, and so on, are people I would not trust to make a choice between cutting their own lunch budgets (and these folks eat well) and cutting medical insurance for poor children. No, I don't. Someone who thinks immigrant dairy workers earn $50,000 a year probably isn't going to be willing to reduce his vehicle lease allowance to give the elderly with no income except social security flu shots. A group that won't put any limits on their own ability to earn outside income or uniformly excuse themselves from decisions that will personally benefit themselves or their families are not likely to chose student loan funding over a break to, just as a hypothetical example, the payday loan industry (especially if that break would give a hypothetical pesky brother-in-law a nice bonus).

Color me cynical but until these folks clean up their own house (and senate), I don't intend to make them decide between helping themselves and helping the indigent and infirm.

1 comment:

LVDem said...

This is a terrible act, not b/c of the underlying philosophy, but b/c it takes the responsibility of making the tough choices out of the hands of the legislature. If they don't want the responsibility, they should get out of the business of making public policy and go to the private sector. Besides, it can be undone by a vote of the General Assembly. It has no real teeth b/c the GA can undo it when ever it wants.

It's bull crap by the GOP to appease their right wing base which has demonstrated that it is ticked and is ready and able to unseat a couple of these guys. It won't matter. My guess is that Jubes and not-so-brightbill are done in 2006.