That's the name of a book that was popular when it came out 15 years ago and hopefully something every college student knows how to detect by the time he or she graduates.
We don't know why the media has persisted in framing the Governor's proposal to raise the Personal Income Tax (PIT) as "a 16 percent increase."
While not exactly a lie, it obscures the fact that that the proposal would actually raise the PIT by half a percentage point -- from 3.2 percent to 3.7 percent. While that may be a 16 percent increase relative to the present rate (currently the second lowest in the United States), in absolute terms it's still half a percentage point. (To see what it would mean for your family see June 25 post, below.)
But 16 percent of course sounds much more ominous -- and much less affordable. Which is why anti-tax absolutists, those who oppose any tax increase regardless of the human, social and economic costs -- have spun this as a 16 percent tax increase. That doesn't explain why the media have bought it hook, line and sinker.
Speaking of costs, here's a partial listing of programs that would experience significant funding reductions if SB 850 is apporoved:
Early Childhood Education
Head Start Supplemental Assistance
Child Care Works
Nurse Family Partnership
Basic Education Subsidy
School Improvement Grants
Dual Enrollment Payments
Teacher Professional Development
Career and Technical Education
High School Reform
Charter School Reimbursements
Services to Non-Public Schools
Obstetric and Neonatal Care Covered by Medical Assistance
Maternal and Child Health
Inpatient Care for Children Covered by Medical Assistance
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Support for Local Hospitals
Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services for Children
County Child Welfare Services
Violence Prevention Programs
Juvenile Justice / Public Safety
Weed and Seed
Juvenile Probation Services
Juvenile Justice Services
For more detail on these and other cuts scroll down to July 1, 2009 post.
Are there services you care about on this list? If so, call your Democratic and Republican Representatives and Senators right away! Tell them:
*Vote no on SB 850 to preserve vital services for Pennsylvania's children.
*Raise the Personal Income Tax to pay for these services.
Yesterday the Governor held a Capitol press conference on the impact of Senate Bill 850 on children and youth. To see a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette click here: