Places to cut

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

The PG is wrong again, but a little correct on the June 18 editorial page. Totally wrong of course is the PG favoring a state income tax increase ("Taxing Times"). Typical for the PG! Somewhat correct is its stance on alcohol sales ("Liquor Stickler"). The following suggestions may be preferable for both situations. Know that some of these ideas are borrowed from others such as the PG's own Brian O'Neill.

There are no temporary tax increases -- think of the temporary Johnstown Flood Tax. We're now decades past with the tax still being collected. Do the following: Sell the state liquor stores for $1 billion to $2 billion. Sell beer and wine in many different stores, as they do in most states.

Cut the budget 10 percent across the board. Cut the Legislature by at least 40 percent, including the staff and budget. Return all but a few million dollars of the legislative "slush fund" or "walking around money" to the state operating budget. Use 50 percent of the Rainy Day Fund. Mandate that legislators pay at least 50 percent of their health benefits. Eliminate out-of-state travel for legislators and staff. Eliminate state-reimbursed lunches and dinners for legislators and staff. Eliminate paying for legislators' vehicles. Change legislative pension programs to 401(k)-type plans. Mandate a 10 percent reduction in state employees' salaries with the top 100 paid employees and all legislators being reduced by 20 percent. Cut the legislators' per diem by 50 percent.

When times are tough and lean, taxpayers cannot ask their employers for more money. The taxpayers have to do without.

I am sure there are many other ideas and ways to save money. Think PennDOT, etc. What do you think, taxpayers?




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