New Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is off to a rip-roaring start! In just one month on he job he has …
- Fired a well-respected Republican staffer appointed by Former Governor Tom Corbett to manage the Office of Open Records.
- Advised that he will refuse to issue death penalty warrants until the State Legislature files an anticipated report on its use. Anticipation is the moratorium will morph into a full ban, displeasing law enforcement personnel who saw two State Troopers gunned down – one fatally – in a pre-meditated ambush last year.
- Scrapped Healthy PA, scrapping negotiations with the Obama Administration to expand Medicaid coverage – in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – that sought more favorable terms for a State already paying the highest costs for any state for Medicaid coverage. The Medicaid ACA expansion mandate will not be fully funded by the Federal Government in future years.
- Reversed a policy allowing for the removal of natural gas assets lying beneath State Park lands.
- Announced plans to tax natural gas extractions by an effective rate of 7.5% while doing away with the State’s Impact Fees that went to compensate local communities for wear and tear on local infrastructure.
As the chief executive of a cabinet-making company, Wolf would be expected to have the patience of a mayfly. In a private, for-profit industry, who could blame a responsible manager? Sloth makes for poor reaction times; and an overabundance of forbearance can render one an unimportant player in private industry where competition for resources is keen.
But what does one make of Mr. Wolf’s propensity for shooting from the hip, and over the heads of the very legislative bodies from which he will no doubt expect cooperation some day? When will he realize he needs them to cash the checks his actions are writing?
It’s an interesting conundrum for the new Wolf on the block! But it only gets better – maybe scarier is the better word – if you’re a hard-working Pennsylvanian watching your disposable income shrink each and every year.
Rumor has it, Governor Wolf will propose an assortment of tax increases on top of those tax increases already announced on the natural gas industry. Pennsylvanians could be looking at increases in the state income tax (currently 3.07%) and in the state’s 6% sales tax.
The tradeoff might be a reduction in Property Taxes, although certainly not a dollar-for-dollar offset of any potential increases in the income and sales taxes. The result? Higher taxes for working Pennsylvanians!
One winner, however, would be corporations, which might see the 9.9% corporate tax rate cut in half! This move could be in response to the corporate raiding party Florida Governor Rick Scott led into Pennsylvania last week, as he smelled blood in Pennsylvania’s business tax pool.
States are always looking to purloin businesses from other states, especially where the business environment isn’t quite as favorable. That’s a sad statement on views of the state from outside Pennsylvania, especially when the new Governor has made it quite clear that he intends to raise taxes, but will not consider needed public pension reform or the sale of Pennsylvania’s antiquated state store liquor distribution system.
You have very low self-esteem!
Sure, it’s bad enough that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker can be heard snorting a laugh at Governor Wolf’s self-esteem assessment at the National Governor’s Association (NGA) no less. Baker undoubtedly made note to organize a job-raiding party into Pennsylvania as soon as he gets back to Boston!
Check out the video below and note Baker’s involuntary snort. It’s always a bad sign when the new guy in the NGA has to declare “That wasn’t a laugh line.”
Uh oh ….
If it wasn’t bad enough that our fledgling Governor made those remarks in front of a roomful of other Governors, he added this little tidbit:
If a space alien visited the United States and was given a list of the assets of each state, “that alien would look at the 50 sheets of paper and say, ‘Pennsylvania must be the dominant state. Obviously it’s the dominant state.’ “
Wonderful … Governor Malaise and Governor Moonbeam all rolled into one! Well, if I didn’t have low state-esteem before, I certainly have it now …