The front-page article “GOP eyes big state budget changes” (CDT, 12/15) was interesting in that it mentioned cost-cutting considerations, such as reducing the number of nursing home beds, among the many other potential reductions in services involving the most vulnerable of our society. Yet, even considering the projected $1.7 billion shortfall, for the fiscal year that will start July 1, no consideration is given to establishing an extraction tax, similar to those fees charged by all other 49 states.
The GOP’s argument, for shielding some of their largest contributors, the oil and gas industry, is that they are protecting the jobs associated with that extraction from leaving. Possibly Mr. Reed, House Majority Leader, and Sen. Corman have yet to come to realize that the gas isn’t going anywhere, so the jobs associated with that extraction are going nowhere. In fact, considering the recent surge in oil prices and the agreement between Russia and OPEC, to cut back production in order to drive up prices, the demand for Pennsylvania’s gas will only increase, as will the jobs associated with that extraction.
The article mentioned that the legislature will be reluctant to consider raising income and sales taxes. However, faced with that shortfall and unable to eliminate enough nursing home beds, watch them decide to levy those taxes on the people of the commonwealth rather than their contributors.
Chuck Franzetta, Boalsburg
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