William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-7-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-7-16

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Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. Vince LombardiSing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.
Vince Lombardi

 

Read Phil Heron at the Delaware County Daily Times

Martin Shkreli Democrat Donor

Martin Shkreli Democrat Donor — Martin Shkreli is the progressive hipster — he once spent $2 million for a special copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album —  who was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG until he was arrested by the FBI on Dec. 17 on charges of securities fraud. Martin Shkreli Democrat Donor

His arrest, though, was not what made him “the most hated man in America” as he has become known. What won him that title was his raising the price of the anti-malarial drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet back in September.

Daraphrim is considered an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization and is desperately needed especially in the poor parts of the globe.

On Feb. 4, Shkreli was brought before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives to answer questions regarding the price hike. He took the Fifth and smirked at legislators.

It turns out that he’s a big political donor. To what party as if you had to ask? It’s the Democrats. He  dumped $33,400 in into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign last July and has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.

Martin Shkreli Democrat Donor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-6-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-6-16

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Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest. Thomas Jefferson Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.
Thomas Jefferson

 

Read Phil Heron at the Delaware County Daily Times

Mismanaged Money Cause Of Tax Hikes

Mismanaged Money Cause Of Tax HikesMismanaged Money Cause Of Tax Hikes by Sen. Scott Wagner

The purpose of this column is to highlight my strong belief that Pennsylvania State Government spending is out of control and that there are weak financial controls in place.

As evidenced by the linked articles below, our Governor firmly believes that taxpayers are wiling to fork over more  money to fuel Harrisburg’s out of control spending.

There is zero accountability for billions of dollars of taxpayer money that is currently sent to Harrisburg.

Below are two recent news stories that are worth reading and reinforce my opinion.

The first article is titled – “Wolf asking for $577 million more for schools but some say that’s not enough”

The article starts off with these sentences: “Gov. Tom Wolf apparently is a believer in not accepting “no” for an answer especially when it comes to education funding. He announced on Tuesday that he is standing by his demand for a bigger increase in basic education funding in the still-unfinished 2015-16 budget of $377 million.”

Governor Wolf just doesn’t get it. There is more than enough money in the education system but it is not being managed properly.

I continue to be amazed with Governor Wolf. All he wants to do is throw more money at a system that is not being held accountable.

Click here to read the full article.

Governor Wolf announced, Feb. 2, that he would like an additional $200 million in basic education funding for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, in addition to the $377 million in basic education funding he demanded for the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year.

I believe investing in education is important, but there are alternatives to raising taxes on Pennsylvanians to find the money he is demanding – Pension reform, prevailing wage reform, and holding school districts accountable for their spending should be his priorities right now, not raising taxes.

The next story I want to share with you is actually one of the most shocking that I have heard since I arrived in the PA State Senate almost two years ago.

On Dec. 16,the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the State Auditor General’s Office had recently completed an audit of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and found $129 Million Dollars that was not being disclosed to the public and the school board.

Click here to read the full article.

To learn more about this story I spoke to Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Feb. 2.

With permission from the Auditor General, here are the facts that he communicated to me.

I asked the Auditor General what prompted him to do the audit at the school district. He responded that the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, requested the audit because the mayor was given information that the school district was going to run out of money in the next 3-4 years and he wanted an audit conducted to verify the financial stability of the school district.

On Dec. 16, the Auditor General held a press conference outlining the findings of his office’s audit.

Here is a link to the Auditor General’s findings (for a quick snapshot of the issue and findings refer to pages 8 – 10 in the report):

At the press conference he congratulated the Pittsburgh School District for their financial management and expressed that the school district had the largest cash reserve balance of all 500 school districts in Pennsylvania.

He went on to  express that the school district should continue their financial management and discipline.

The Auditor General then concluded the press conference.

Immediately after the press conference four school board members approached the Auditor General in disbelief over the facts released at the press conference.

The school board members went on to tell the Auditor General that the next evening they were scheduled to be voting for a property tax increase because the administration had represented to the board that a tax increase was needed.

This story highlights, in my opinion, that our state government is out of control – there are “Swiss Bank Accounts” everywhere, filled with taxpayer money, that the public does not know about.

I believe that every school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should have an audited financial review conducted by an outside accounting firm certifying the accuracy and findings of the audit.

The accounting firms selected to do the audits should be selected by the state to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.

I strongly encourage you to read the article– it highlights the lack of accountability for the people responsible at the school district and their auditors.

The district owes us all an explanation.  What are they hiding?  Was the money intended to be used for salary and benefit increases for teachers and administration staff?  Are they hiding it so they have a better case to raise taxes?  The public deserves answers.

Here is a question I have to ask: “Did the Pittsburgh School District increase school property taxes in the years 2011  – 2014 when in fact they accumulated a surplus for those years for a total of approximately $48 million?”

The more I learn after several conversations with the Auditor General and reading the full report that he issued on Dec. 16., I have to shake my head in amazement at what took place in the Pittsburgh School District.

There are 500 school districts in Pennsylvania and we must know their financial conditions inside and out.

In the private sector business world financial shenanigans similar to what took place in the Pittsburgh School District could be viewed as fraud.

In the beginning of my email I talked about the term “Accountability” – taxpayers should demand a complete audit of every public government bank account, school district bank accounts and any entity that receives state funding in PA – we NEED to know how much money is in each and every bank account in PA before PA taxpayers are ordered to pay more taxes and fees.

Mismanaged Money Cause Of Tax Hikes

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-5-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 2-5-16

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Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships. Alexis de Tocqueville Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.
Alexis de Tocqueville

 

For great commentary, check out Leonora Cravotta’s and Scott Adam’s at BugleCall.Org

Structural Deficits Can’t be Fixed By Tax Hikes

Structural Deficits Can't be Fixed By Tax HikesStructural Deficits Can’t be Fixed By Tax Hikes by Leo Knepper

On Feb. 9, Governor Wolf will offer his annual budget address.

Despite being unable to force the legislature to raise taxes to cover a laundry list of campaign promises, Wolf will demand that the government spend even more money in his second budget address. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Governor Wolf has been a broken record when it comes to calling for spending more money. How it makes sense from Wolf’s perspective to demand more spending and simultaneously insist that we have a “structural deficit” is anyone’s guess. If there were a structural deficit, the rational thing to do would be to cut spending. Considering the odd juxtaposition of demanding more spending and claiming a deficit, it was a smart move on his part to avoid the ironic humor of offering his budget address on Groundhog Day.

The Governor will likely offer a vision of the next budget filled with rainbows and unicorns for everyone. He is unlikely to offer any concrete plan to pay for it, outside of calling for one group or another to pay their “fair share”. For his 2015-2016 budget, Wolf singled out the natural gas industry as the source of nearly limitless tax revenue; at least, that is how he presented it. Thankfully, the legislature did not fall into this trap. All of the states who rely on severance tax revenue to meet their regular budget needs are in an incredible bind as the result of the collapse in the price of oil and gas. All of the other tax proposals that Wolf offered to pay for his spending binge were ultimately rejected by the General Assembly.

One way to streamline the budget process this year would be for the House and Senate to do something unusual for the government. Typically, the legislature has decided how much money it was going to spend and then scramble to determine who has to come up with the money to pay for it. This is the opposite of how things are done in the real world. This year the General Assembly should determine how much money is available first and then decide how to spend it. Families do this all the time, that is why they generally have food to eat but may not be able to take a vacation. The Governor and General Assembly would be smart to follow the same example.
Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

 

Structural Deficits Can’t be Fixed By Tax Hikes

Pennsylvania Presidential Candidates Debate In Swarthmore

Pennsylvania Presidential Candidates Debate In Swarthmore — Delco Debates will present its initial Regional Alternatives Forum, 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, at Swarthmore Borough Hall, 121 Park Ave., (19081).

“This Forum will present only Pennsylvania based Candidates for
President,” said Bob Small, who runs the forum. Pennsylvania Presidential Candidates Debate In Swarthmore

He said the candidates represent alternative and independent viewpoints.

“The six selected all have legitimate campaigns and an
electronic presence,” he said and noted more details can be found at   Politics1.com.

Scheduled to appear are:

  • Jim Babb of Montgomery County from The Vote for Noone Campaign
  • Jim Hedges of Fulton County from the Prohibition Party.
  • Tom Irwin of Mercer County from The American Party
  • Tom Lineaweaver of Lebanon County from Freedom Party USA
  • Michael Martisko, of Fayette County from National Sovereignty Party
  • John Roy of Lehigh County from the Return to Christ Party

Each Candidate represents a different viewpoint and all will focus on immigration as the jumping off point, Small said.

The Forum will begin with opening statements,  followed by audience question and answers, and end with closing statements.

Pennsylvania Presidential Candidates Debate In Swarthmore