Tax on gas drillers boils in Harrisburg
Governor resolute in his opposition
As new taxes go, a levy on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania would seem like a pretty easy political sell.
Two-thirds of the state’s voters support the idea, several polls show.
Politicians are desperate for money to plug a $4 billion budget gap and prevent deep cuts in the state college system and other programs.
Every other major natural-gas producing state has some sort of tax, and some of the biggest drillers have said they won’t oppose one here, so long as it’s reasonable.
“The Marcellus industry has been clear and outspoken on this for a year or so,” said Ray Walker, vice president of Texas-based Range Resources and chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group. “We are willing to discuss a severance tax.”
Why Any Deal to Cut Social Security,
Medicare or Medicaid Would be
a Moral, Economic and Political Disaster
By Robert Creamer
Huffington Post, March 28, 2011
Friday, the Democratic group Third Way published a memo arguing that Democrats should support "entitlement reform" — by which they mean cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I don’t doubt the sincerity or intentions of their proposal, but I believe that if Democrats took their advice it would result in a moral, economic and political disaster.
The immorality of "entitlement reform." The very idea that seniors on Social Security — whose average income is $18,000 a year — should be asked to tighten their belts while the Federal Government still gives huge tax breaks to millionaires and subsidies to oil companies is just plain wrong.
The principle voices for "entitlement reform" are the multi-millionaires from Wall Street who argue that we need to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a bargain to reduce the long-term federal deficit and give the "markets" confidence. Never mind that Social Security in particular does not contribute anything to the deficit and has in fact generated a $2.6 trillion surplus that was paid for by workers and employers through Social Security taxes. Never mind that the Wall Street gang clamoring for "entitlement reform" demanded extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies for the oil companies, tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and an end to the estate tax that only affects the sons and daughters of multi-millionaires.