Letters to the Editor

Ask questions based on data

Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to cut $2 billion in spending is smoke and mirrors. Although the cuts may be real over a period of years, a look at the budget shows that any savings from cuts would be spent elsewhere.

Go to www.budget.pa.gov Look under the heading “Commonwealth Budget,” then click on the link labeled “2017-18 Proposed Line Item Appropriations” and look at line 978. Despite the “cuts,” the data shows a $571.4 million increase in spending. Does this look like a cut?

Take time on the website to see how Wolf plans to spend our money. You’ll find it time well spent.

Let me highlight some of what I found for fiscal year 2017-18.

1. Wolf talks about an increase of $200 million for basic education spending. Yet line 206, the education total, shows an increase in overall education spending by $458.1 million.

2. Despite Wolf’s consolidation of health and human services, overall HHS spending will increase by $427.3 million (sum the delta column lines 323, 364, 370).

3. Although not increasing, our state legislature (line 551) will cost $206.4 million (plenty of room for cuts).

Don’t blindly accept what is being fed to us by politicians. Ask questions of your legislators based on data.

I told my legislators that I want to balance the budget via spending cuts. If you want higher taxes, stop looking for someone else to pay. Tell your legislator to raise a tax that affects you.

Terry Kordes, Port Matilda