A Bridge to Personal Responsibility
8/30/2013
I was raised to believe in the personal responsibility that each citizen owes and the individual rights that each citizen owns. Personal responsibility and individual rights are like two sides of the same coin. Our rights are accompanied by responsibilities. As our government expands entitlement programs it erodes personal responsibility. The erosion of personal responsibility by our government simultaneously strips away our individual rights.

The expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania under Obamacare has the potential to place one in four Pennsylvanians on welfare. A fall fight in Harrisburg on this issue is anticipated. I will continue to fight this expansion of the welfare state.

During our 2013 summer district work period, I have been engaged in a continued debate on an area of significant state government expansion: the proposed Corbett gas tax increase.

The Corbett gas tax increase legislation will funnel more money into the union dominated mass transit systems for subsidies of the minority of our populations’ bus fare and spend even money on bike trails, while our roads and bridges are being used as the excuse for the tax increase. Last week in an arrogant act of political arm twisting at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers, Corbett’s Secretary of Transportation announced new weight restrictions on 1,000 bridges across the Commonwealth because Corbett did not get the Legislature’s approval of his gas tax increase.

One must question why 1,000 bridges, not 1,001 or 999, other than the ability to create a stronger message with 1,000. It is interesting to note that only about half of the bridges are state-owned bridges with the other half being locally-owned. The other question is if the Legislature would have approved a tax increase by June 30, 2013, how many people believe that the inefficiency of government (specifically PennDOT) would have led to any significant work being done on any of the 1,000 bridges in less than 2 months. If the bridges need to be posted for safety reasons, his waiting to create a media spectacle is an indication that the Secretary is incompetent and/or negligent. If the bridges do not really need to be weight restricted and he is “restricting the weight so we can slow down the deterioration” then he is using his authority in an abusive fashion for this purely political charade which is a corrupt use of his appointed position. Corbett ultimately must be held responsible for this blatant political maneuver to force a gas tax increase upon the people of Pennsylvania.

Our state government collects more than enough tax revenue to fund all core infrastructure needs and constitutional responsibilities. Based on recent actions and responses, the majority of legislators will not exercise their responsibility in reigning in the abuses and excesses of the Department of Public Welfare and other bureaucracies, so that we can pay for road and bridge repairs without a tax increase.

I believe that the obvious question in this debate is, “Aren’t Pennsylvania taxpayers paying enough already?” I say ABSOLUTELY, but the Governor and state legislators need to hear your answer to this question!
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