As the clock winds down on the 2009-2010 Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, all eyes are fixed on whether or not a tax on natural gas extraction will be in place by the time lawmakers retreat to their home turf for the stretch run to Election Day.
A Guest Post by Roy J. Wells, President, Triad Strategies
Last week Harrisburg University conducted a social media experiment that found its way into the national news and even was commented on by Jimmy Fallon in his monologue on late night television. During the week-long ban on using social networking tools, the University hosted a Social Media Summit which examined legal issues, politics, business innovation, and education and training. I participated on the panel which examined how social media is changing the political landscape.
The U.S. House GOP fired up the old DeLorean this week, sped up to 88 miles per hour and went back to the future, unveiling the “Pledge to America”, not to be confused with its paternal grandfather, the “Contract with America.” The plan, which the GOP will use to govern should they win the majority, is heavy on fiscal policy, will repeal the Health Care Reform Act, and throws in a bit of the social policy stuff. We’ll see if the Republicans can find 1.21 jigawatts of power on Election Day to seal the deal.
On Wednesday, September 15, we posted a piece maintaining that the Unemployment Compensation Fund debt problem (estimated at $3.7 billion and counting) has pretty much rendered the gubernatorial “no tax” pledges dead on arrival. Come next January, business taxes are going up, by hook or by crook, if a solution is not hammered out before then. And even if an agreement is reached, it will almost definitely contain some level of tax increase on businesses and employees, if not both.
Remember waaaaaaaay back when (last year at this time) when some enlightened folks around the country were going bonkers over President Obama speaking to school children during back-to-school week? Remember the folks who accused him of wanting to indoctrinate our children to his way of thinking? Yeah, well Obama was at it again this year, speaking to a bunch of future communists at a Philadelphia school. His insidious message this time around? Study hard; dream big. The nerve of this man.
We have recently heard some folks comment that our blog is often filled with rather gloomy news and predictions, so we will attempt to lighten the mood a bit before we jump into our next analysis. It is a bright, breezy and otherwise beautiful day here on the banks of the Susquehanna. Sun is out, sky is blue. O.K., moving right along…
Tomorrow morning, we will all pause for a moment and remember that horrible day nine years ago. First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady Laura Bush will appear together at Shanksville, PA to help commemorate the lives lost there, and to help raise funds for the new 9/11 Memorial, set to open next year. May we never forget.
We ran across a story on the Commonwealth Foundation blog yesterday that got us thinking about the future of state parks in Pennsylvania. Our pals at the CF have pointed out that while the federal government is poised to spend billions of dollars to acquire more private land for our national parks, there is currently a $9 billion backlog in maintenance and upkeep at places it already owns.
Last week, we posted our humble opinion on whether or not our State Store System was likely to be privatized. Our verdict was that, moral and free market questions aside, the monetary gain was not likely to be large enough to turn the red votes to green on the House and Senate Floors.
Before last Wednesday, one would have assumed that if any chucklehead lone gunman with misfiring synapses was going to attack a cable television station over the content of its programming, the Discovery Channel would have been a real long shot. Really, was season six of The Deadliest Catch that disappointing? Good thing the now-deceased man had never stumbled across the potpourri of hot trash residing on the Bravo Network.
As summer winds down, Congress will soon be returning to Washington D.C. to continue its efficient, harmonious work on behalf of the American people.
No matter which gubernatorial candidate you support, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: both are in a race to convince voters that tax increases are not happening under their watch. While raising taxes, or admitting that you would even consider raising them, is never a savvy election strategy, we have come a long way from Governor Ed Rendell’s race against Mike Fisher, where Rendell repeatedly refused to rule out any revenue enhancements should he be elected.