Democratic incumbents Representative Margo Davidson (HD – 164) of Delaware County, Representative Patty Kim (HD – 103) of Dauphin County, Representative Jake Wheatley (HD – 19) of Allegheny County, and Representative Jim Roebuck (188th) of Philadelphia were all endorsed yesterday by PEG PAC, the political action committee associated with the Pennsylvania Business Council. This “pro-business” PAC has some interesting policy positions, and we thought you should know. Its website outlines the organization’s thoughts on a variety of state and federal issues.
Public Education – The PBC states its support of “charter school reform”, but is also very supportive of a parent’s right to “choose” an education for their child, and wants to see more funding for EITC, a program that diverts public school funding toward individual students, rather than fully funding the current schools serving students.
“The 2012 legislation expanded the EITC program by $50 million. The tax credit scholarship program allows students to escape the academic woes of poorly performing schools and also the violence that often plagues them. PBC supported the EITC expansion and continues to support initiatives that introduce competition into education and empower families to make educational choices.”
Of teachers, the PBC says:
“next to parents — teachers are the most important element of our education system. Most teachers do an outstanding job in tough conditions. An important reform of 2012 being readied in 2013 for implementation is an improved teacher evaluation system. While the evaluation should identify poor teachers, it should also help all teachers to perform better. The new evaluation system stems primarily from the four elements of Charlotte Danielson’s “Framework for Effective Teaching” which will make up 50% of the total evaluation: Planning and Preparation; The Classroom Environment; Instruction; Professional Responsibilities. Student progress and improved performance will also be a consideration. Evaluations will be conducted by school principals who, themselves, will be evaluated.”
Most out of touch of all is its perspective on school funding.
“But money is not the key issue in public K-12 education. Pennsylvania spends about $27 billion/year of local, state, and federal funds on K-12 education. Per student funding is not the sole determinant of education success and proficiency. Everyone needs to be committed to achieving excellence; and everyone in education needs to be held accountable for performance. The Pennsylvania Business Council supports the Commonwealth’s adoption of the Pennsylvania Common Core academic standards and uniform statewide assessments of proficiency attained through the Keystone Exams.”
Instead of focusing on solutions that might actually bring sustainable jobs to Pennsylvania citizens, like closing the Delaware Tax Loophole, this organization cares about benefiting its direct members, who want even more tax breaks for themselves.
“To be competitive, it is essential that Pennsylvania change its high tax perception. Governor Tom Corbett in February 2013 recommended a comprehensive business tax plan that addresses these concerns.
To sum Pennsylvania’s current situation briefly:
- Some states have a corporate tax based on assets; some on income. Until the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT) is finally and completely eliminated, Pennsylvania has both.
- Pennsylvania has the highest flat rate and second highest marginal rate corporate next income tax in the nation. And, since the United States has the highest national corporate net income tax in the world, Pennsylvania therefore has the second highest marginal CNI on the face of the earth.
- Most states and the Internal Revenue Service allow 100 percent deduction of net operating losses in the following profitable year. Pennsylvania is one of a handful which does not, and presently limits the write-off to 20 percent.
- And, Pennsylvania’s tax appeal process is so convoluted, long, and arcane that hundreds of millions of dollars are neither available to the firm for investment in job-creating capital, nor paid to the state to fund government operations.”
Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act
“Health Insurance Tax That Will Increase Health Care Cost, Decrease Jobs, and Reduce Health Care Choices
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2012. Combined with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it is said to be the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. Among other things, PPACA imposes an annual multi-billion dollar Health Insurance Tax that will negatively impact the entire health care system. Employers and Consumers will begin to see the impact of this $87 Billion tax in health care policies issued in 2013. This tax will have far-reaching effects that extend to employers, seniors, States, consumers and the overall economy, and will exacerbate existing cost challenges in the health care marketplace and significantly distort existing market dynamics. Click here to download more information about the health insurance tax.”
“It’s Time to Get Serious About National Debt Reduction
Are you concerned about the national deficit? Please take a moment to look at the information below and take action today. Send a letter to your U.S. Lawmakers urging them to reduce the national deficit. Click on the letter entitled “National Debt Reduction” by going to the “Take Action” portion of this webpage.
Our national debt is approaching $15 trillion dollars and federal deficits are projected at or above one trillion dollars a year for the foreseeable future. Despite the emerging bipartisan consensus among policy makers that we cannot sustain the current path, they are struggling to find common ground on a plan to reduce the federal deficit. Without some change in these dynamics, their deliberations may not reflect the seriousness and urgency of the need to effectively act. American business has an opportunity to help convey the need for immediate action and ultimately shape the outcome by:
Keystone XL Pipeline
“Canada has always been an important supplier of resources to the United States. In fact, Canada provides more oil to the U.S. than all Persian Gulf countries combined. A new pipeline project would provide an opportunity to access even more oil from Canada and improve our energy security.
After months of policy arguments and political maneuvering, the Obama Administration agreed to most elements of the pipeline project. Still to be determined are small portions of the route in order to protect environmentally sensitive area. Meanwhile, much work on the multi-year construction project can be seen creating tens of thousands of jobs immediately.
Approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline would trigger a $7 billion business investment that could deliver more than 800,000 barrels per day of North American oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Moreover, the Keystone XL Pipeline would deliver enough oil to displaceone-third of the oil currently imported from the Middle East. Ultimately the project will create an estimated 85,000 jobs and add $150 billion to the nation’s economy by 2035.
The Keystone XL Pipeline extension is an environmentally responsible infrastructure project. According to a recent Gallup poll, 57 percent of American adults said, “…the U.S. government should approve the building of this pipeline.”
Legislation in Congress – part of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II – would create an expedited process to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Click here to contact your US Senators and US Representative and support the Keystone XL Pipeline!”
The Environmental Protection Agency
“The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review national air quality standards every five years and issue revised standards, if necessary, without regard to cost or the availability of effective emissions control technology. EPA proactively proposed new, more stringent ozone standards two years earlier than required by law that would, if put into effect, cost industry and local businesses as much as $52-$90 billion per year by 2020. Under EPA’s most stringent proposal, 85 percent of U.S. counties monitored by EPA would likely be designated as “non-attainment” areas, subjecting those counties to more regulation, making it difficult to establish new industrial facilities or expand existing plants. The map below illustrates how the proposed new standards will affect states and counties across America.