Matt Brouillette of Commonwealth Foundation gave an upbeat but realistic talk to the Delaware County Patriots, this evening, April 10 about solving Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s problems.
Brouillette said that it wasn’t a matter of Republicans versus Democrats but rather of David versus Goliath that was pushing us to fiscal disaster and poverty. Pennsylvania, he said, had a State House in which the GOP held the largest majority either party has had in decades and that the Republicans controlled the state Senate here by a greater margin than their counterparts in Texas.
Unlike in Texas, though, it is Goliath that rules. Many of the state Republican legislators have joined against the taxpayer who is David.
He noted though that one uses a slingshot to beat Goliath and not another giant. In Texas, where the union dues of state workers are voluntary, state unions dump about $12 million in political campaigns. In Pennsylvania, they spend $50 million. Pennsylvania, remember, has half the population.
He said the stones for the slingshot are new laws to allow union workers to pay their dues voluntarily. He cited Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana as having gotten very positive results for average citizens with such laws. He said that in 2012 when Obama was handily winning Michigan an amendment was overwhelmingly voted down — which obviously required the support of a lot of Obama voters — that would have made the mandatory collection of union wages part of the state constitution. It was that, he said, that set things up for the entire state going right-to-work, an event the possibility of which would have been laughed at just a few short months ago.
He noted that unlike Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who initially said he would not sign a right-to-work bill, our own Tom Corbett has expressed a willingness to do so from the beginning if one would reach his desk.
Brouillette had generally nice things to say about Corbett, albeit he slammed his unwillingness to get before the public and said he would fire a lot of staffers, who he thought to be encouraging this, if he were running things.
He said the privatization of Pennsylvania’s state store system is not a done deal and is being held up by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, the Bucks County Republican with strong ties to the existing system, who chairs the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee. He noted that privatizing the state stores would cut about $1.5 million from union political contributions.
Brouillette, a former history teacher, said that the conventional Tea Party message is compassion-based. He noted that each of his four children is going to start his or her working lives with $60,000 government debt. He said that one of his neighbors, a retiree, has to work an extra job selling tickets to pay his property tax. He said another neighbor has laid off his seven employees from his small building company and has become a one-man business. All this suffering is related to existing governmental policies.
The next meeting of the Delaware County Patriots is tentatively scheduled for May 20. The topic will be Common Core Standards in Education.
Delco Pats Hear Matt Brouillette