When I committed to run for the State Senate last fall, I did so because I believed the legislature and governor have lost touch with the average person. Any doubt about that fact was erased in my mind this past week when both chambers passed a spending plan with no idea how to pay for it and the governor let it become law without his signature.
I’m not a politician and I don’t understand how politicians think or act. This one is especially perplexing for someone who has spent the past 35 years in the private sector creating jobs and getting things done. For most of us in the real world, we determine how much money we have and then we craft our spending plan. That’s what a budget actually is. Unfortunately for us, those in Harrisburg consistently fail to grasp this basic concept.
Governor Wolf accepted as a good idea that the legislature pass their wish list first and then figure out where to get the $1.3 billion in additional taxes and revenue to pay for it. Even worse, some of the leading conservative voices in the capital all say that this plan will require even more tax increases to follow – potentially billions more because of its reliance on questionable tax estimates and one-time accounting gimmicks. Governor Wolf announced that he would let this spending plan become law even though he knew it was not balanced.
Standing right by the Governor’s side on this backwards spending plan has been my State Senator Rob Teplitz. Instead of standing up for taxpayers and demanding reform and efficiency, he is standing up for the special interests that have funded his and Governor Wolf’s campaign. It is also inexplicable to me how a state senator can vote for a spending plan knowing it will raise taxes and then vote against the taxes and revenues to pay for it. Teplitz is just playing a political shell game trying to fool taxpayers, but we’re too smart for his blatant political ploys.
I have been a business owner for over 35 years, and if I ran my business like Governor Wolf and Senator Teplitz are running the state I would be bankrupt and in violation of generally accepted accounting principles. My family and I built a business around the idea that responsibility is the cornerstone of everything we do. We have a responsibility to our employees and our communities. We never built a property without knowing how to pay for it and we ensured fiscal responsibility in every decision we made.
Unfortunately for taxpayers, Governor Wolf and Senator Teplitz aren’t seriously concerned about fiscal responsibility or operating within the same parameters as the people they are supposed to serve. Instead of standing up for taxpayers by modernizing our pension system, ending wasteful spending, and reforming and funding our education system, they are fixated on protecting the failing status quo. Their solution to every challenge is to raise taxes – taking more money out of your pockets to pay for their spending.
Our state desperately needs real leadership to solve problems. I am someone who is going to bring 35 years of private sector experience creating jobs, balancing budgets, and getting things done to the State Senate. I’m not a career politician concerned with party – I’ll work with Republicans, Democrats, and anyone else who wants to put taxpayers first.
I can assure you I won’t vote for a spending plan without an idea of how to pay for it, and I have no interest in raising taxes to support a bloated bureaucracy. I’ll always stand up for our interests.