Wegmans Cuts Health Bennies

Wegmans Cuts Health Bennies — Wegmans, the upscale supermarket beloved by yuppies and Obama voters, has long boasted of how it provided health benefits to its part-time workers.

Well, it can boast no more. It has ended that policy.

Golly gee, what could have ever caused it to do such a thing?

Look at this way kids — be grateful you still have part-time jobs.

Wegmans Cuts Health Bennies

Tom Corbett and GOP Fail Pennsylvania — Again

 

If you strike out two of every three times at bat, you’re a Hall of Famer. One out of four gives you a long career. But go 0 for the season and your contract won’t be renewed.

On that last point, welcome to the lives of Gov. Tom Corbett and the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature.

Once again, the pols have recessed for the summer with zero success passing any major initiatives, keeping Pennsylvania stuck in the dark ages. So where does that leave us? Do we carry the torch of hope that lights the way to a better tomorrow? Do we still possess the faith that each successive generation will fare better than the one before it?

Nope.

And because Corbett, who had a 10-point victory in 2010, and the Republican legislature, which enjoys historic majorities in both houses, lack the courage to fix our once-great commonwealth, Pennsylvania further plummets into the oblivion of mediocrity.

If things were peachy, doing nothing would be acceptable. But they aren’t, and “business as usual” — the endless routine of committee meetings, press releases, and little substantive action — won’t break the logjam created by years of inaction.

Our politicians don’t understand — or don’t care — that this crisis has put the economic health of our state in serious jeopardy. Too many hide and duck or are just flat-out incompetent, breeding a climate of cynicism and mistrust — toxic to the optimism so necessary for growth.

Not all that long ago, Pennsylvania was the leading industrial state in the country — and a leader on the world stage. It was a powerful magnet for companies to locate here, and with them came the best and brightest workforce in America. Our children were educated in the state, and actually stayed in Pennsylvania because of the jobs created by a booming economy.

But now, with our well-deserved reputation for corruption and a government seemingly hostile to all but the insiders, we stand at the brink.
And yet with everything in their favor, including widespread support on a number of issues, the Governor and legislature dropped the ball — again. Consider:

1. Liquor privatization: Despite the vast majority of Pennsylvanians favoring the state getting out of the liquor business — with the reasonable expectation that consumer choice would rise and prices would fall — nothing happened. Given the Republicans’ total control, this abysmal failure must be laid at the feet of Corbett. Saying “I want privatization” but not lifting a finger to get it is pathetic. There was no barnstorming the state, no use of the bully pulpit, no playing hardball with recalcitrant Republicans. In fact, he all but ignored the legislature until the 11th hour, and even then screwed the pooch. But what else is new?

The only silver lining is that the privatization bills were ill-conceived, as none eliminated the whopping 18 percent Johnstown Flood Tax (of 1936) levied on every bottle of wine and liquor. Failure to do so in the future (and the odds are long that anything will happen in the fall) will only serve to lessen choice and raise prices, making “privatization” a bad word. Leave it to Corbett to take a great idea and turn it to dung. Bottom line: Do it right, or don’t do it at all.

2. Pension reform: The problem of massively ballooning pension payments over the next several years is so monumental that it threatens the very stability of the state. Given that Corbett has demonstrated an inability to handle even the most basic matters, the assumption that he could tackle such a pressing problem was a fairy tale. But he and the legislature punted on even the most fundamental reform: requiring all future state employees be given a 401k plan rather than a pension. A no-brainer, to be sure, and one that no reasonable person could oppose, since public employees should never have a hands-down advantage over those in the private sector. But nothing was done.

And the next generation will thank Corbett for this massive debt load by fleeing as soon as they can. Brilliant.

3. Transportation: This is yet another issue that, while long overdue, thankfully didn’t happen. Incomprehensibly, the Senate passed a bill that would have placed a 37-cent-per-gallon gas tax on Pennsylvanians to fix roads and bridges. Thankfully the House nixed that, but here’s the kicker: Corbett wanted upward of a 75-cent-per-gallon tax, which would have made Pennsylvania’s gas tax the highest in the nation.

Since when is breaking the backs of Pennsylvanians the path to prosperity? Instead of raising taxes, here’s an idea: Why not increase revenue by instituting pro-growth policies? It’s really not that hard. If you make Pennsylvania a viable place to do business, companies will come, as will their employees — and a whole boatload of revenue follows. The more money pumped into the economy, the more state coffers fill. But that remains a foreign concept, with Pennsylvania maintaining one of the most hostile business climates in the nation.

But what do you expect from lawyers/politicians with virtually no real-world business experience? Who have never encountered innovation-stifling and job-killing rules and regulations? Who have never had to meet a payroll? Who don’t know what it’s like to look a longtime employee in the eye and issue a pink slip because the government forces his hand?

We should expect exactly what we get. Nothing.

4. Second-highest corporate tax: One way not to attract business is by maintaining the second-highest corporate net income tax in the country. Lowering it is an issue both business and labor could and should agree upon, and it should have been done on Day One. Creating jobs floats all boats, union and otherwise. But nothing was done.

Astoundingly, the Corbett plan recently unveiled is to lower that rate by just three points — but over 12 years! Seriously? What savvy CEO will jump on the “opportunity” to come to Pennsylvania on the off-chance that the state will lower its tax by 2025? That level of obtuseness is so great that I am, for once, at a loss of words.

OK, that’s not true. But the words are unprintable.

5. Philadelphia’s schools. The way not to bail out the black hole called Philly schools is by throwing more taxpayer money at the problem and holding onto jobs that need to be eliminated. Shedding 3,800 school district positions isn’t a travesty — it’s a good start. Cutting art and music isn’t the answer, however — increasing revenue is. But rather than force Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia to live within its means, however, like families and businesses do, Corbett and the legislature just perpetuated a failed system.

The chance to fix education through school choice, competition and other reforms came and went. So things will only get worse, if that’s even possible. However, if city revenue were increased by attracting business and residents, then at least the rest of the state wouldn’t yet again be funding Philadelphia’s bad habits. But it’s a case of chicken and the egg. How do you entice companies when you are the cumulatively highest-taxed city in the nation with skyrocketing levels of crime, homeless and poverty?

Common sense dictates that the answer isn’t throwing money, with no accountability, at the problem, nor extending the city’s 8 percent sales tax. But that’s exactly what they did.

After the Hurricane Katrina debacle, there was absolutely nothing George W. Bush could do to save his presidency or his party. With reelection numbers in the 20s, Tom Corbett is in the same position. (Republicans already lost 10 percent of their Senate membership in 2012, and the first-ever Democrat was elected as attorney general, Corbett’s prior position.) The only difference between Bush and Corbett is that it only took our
governor two years to achieve such a distinction.

If there were All Star voting in politics, Tom Corbett wouldn’t even be on the ballot.

 

Tom Corbett and GOP Fail Pennsylvania — Again

Land With No Republicans

Land With No Republicans — Hat tip Bob Guzzardi

Wow, just imagine what life could be if the whole country was without Republicans.

A wonderful State with ZERO Republicans!!!

There are more people on Welfare in Illinois than there are people working.

Chicago pays the highest wages to teachers– than anywhere else in the U.S. averaging $110,000/year.

Their pensions average 80-90% of their income. You can’t blame that on republicans because there aren’t any.

Wow, are Illinois and Chicago great or what?

Be sure to read till the end. I’ve never heard it explained better.

Perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Chicago ?

Body count: In the last six months 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago .
221 killed in Iraq AND Chicago has one of the strictest gun laws in the entire US.

Here’s the Chicago chain of command:

· President: Barack Hussein Obama

· Senator: Dick Durbin

· House Representative: Jesse Jackson Jr.

· Governor: Pat Quinn

· House leader: Mike Madigan

· Atty. Gen.: Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike)

· Mayor: Rohm Emanuel

· The leadership in Illinois – all Democrats.

· Thank you for the combat zone in Chicago .

· Of course, they’re all blaming each other.

· Can’t blame Republicans; there aren’t any!

· Chicago school system rated one of the worst in the country. Can’t blame Republicans; there aren’t any!

· State pension fund $78 Billion in debt, worst in country. Can’t blame Republicans; there aren’t any!

· Cook County ( Chicago ) sales tax 10.25% highest in country. Can’t blame Republicans; there aren’t any!

· This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois . And he is going to ‘fix’ Washington politics for us???

· George Ryan is no longer Governor, he is in the big house.

· Of course he was replaced by Rob Blajegovitch who is…that’s right, also in the big house.

· And Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned a couple of weeks ago. That is because he is fighting being sent to…that’s right, the big house.

· The Land of Lincoln , where our governors make our license plates.

But you know what?

As long as they keep providing entitlements to the population of Chicago , nothing is going to change, except the state will go broke before the country does.

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him – better take a closer look at the American Indian.”

Land With No Republicans

Real Country Showed Up On The Fourth

Although I’ve been a journalist for more than 20 years, I am in no way a “news junkie.” I seldom watch TV news, nor do I listen to news on the radio (except the traffic report when I’m in the car). I read newspapers sparingly—that is to say, selectively. And of course, I have been trained to pick out the bias in all reporting (yes, it’s there; believe me, some more so than others!).
Most who do watch, read, and listen to mainstream news (and entertainment) media will no doubt tell you that the tendencies in today’s culture are to tolerate everyone’s point of view, celebrate (whatever the hell that means) everyone’s lifestyle, and crusade for what you believe i —i.e. speak your mind.
Undeniably you’ll travel a smoother road as long as your
point of view, your crusade, and your speech tows that cultural line: The one
painted so stealthily through our social conscience by the media.
So you should join the overwhelming majority (if media tendentiousness
is to be believed) of Americans who:
• Tolerate casual sex, infanticide, and animal worship.
• Celebrate homosexuality, bisexuality, and nature worship.
• Speak out against all outdated ideals, such as theism and patriotism.
Then you’d be well on your way to conforming to the contemporary
norm. You’d be solidly in line to becoming a secular humanist. (Sounds great
doesn’t it—Secular humanist? It’s one
of those hip phrases that pretty much means whatever the hell you want it to
mean. Stalin and Hitler would both have loved it!)
Not that I was ever seriously tempted to trust media predisposition
to their vision of the new American society,
but I had my faith physically and spiritually reinforced this Independence Day
at the parade in Pitman, New Jersey.
As a Christian, I’ve always been taught that Faith, Hope,
and Charity are the three cardinal virtues upon which true humanism, if you will, is based. Those three facets of our uniquely
human nature were obvious the morning of July 4th all along Broadway
in Pitman.(Excerpted from Good Writers Block)

Cryptowit

By William W. Lawrence Sr

Gh hgx phnew kxfxfuxk max Zhhw Ltftkbmtg by ax’w hger atw zhhw bgmxgmbhgl; ax atw fhgxr tl pxee.
Ftkztkxm Matmvaxk

Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have.
Rene Descartes

Big Government Party Blocks Reforms

Big Government Party Blocks Reforms
By Matthew J. Brouillette

Why haven’t liquor privatization and pension reform passed yet here in Pennsylvania? Not why you think.

Most answers to this question begin with the fact that one party controls all branches of government in the Keystone State—the Republicans. Many people then posit that free-market ideas such as these should therefore be slam dunks. But this analysis is far too simplistic.

The reason Gov. Tom Corbett hasn’t signed either of those measures is that the true divide in the General Assembly is not between the Republicans and Democrats, but between the Big Government Party and the Taxpayer Party.

And while the Republicans may have a numerical majority, the Big Government Party—the coalition of interests that profit from higher taxes, more spending, cumbersome regulations, state contracts, and special privileges—has a functional majority. It just wielded it.

That’s how liquor privatization fell apart, in spite of bipartisan voter majorities favoring it. Special interests—both those profiting off the state monopoly and those seeking to keep out competition—worked to obstruct and water down privatization proposals.

Government unions representing the state store workers spent big bucks advertising against privatization and countless hours lobbying. Moreover, the union representing liquor store managers worked to hold transportation funding hostage if Senate leadership didn’t kill liquor privatization.

Not only that, the opposition to a longtime Republican priority was aided and abetted by a former Republican Senate leader and a team of former Senate Republican political operatives-turned-lobbyists. This is a case in point: The Big Government Party has adherents among both Republicans and Democrats.

Despite historic progress on liquor privatization in the House, the Senate struggled to get enough votes to join the other 48 states that don’t run complete government wine and spirits monopolies. And once transportation tax and fee increases fell through in the House, it became clear the Senate would make us wait longer.

Similar attacks thwarted pension reform.

The school employees’ union leadership launched a massive campaign to thwart any pension reform plan. They had both current teachers and retirees calling lawmakers saying, “Don’t take away my pension”—even though proposals wouldn’t touch retirees’ benefits or affect benefits already earned by current employees.

They used misguided analyses to argue that changing plans for new hires would cost more, but analysts from Pew Trust and the Public Employees Retirement Commission pointed out their flaws.

The most egregious myth perpetuated by opponents of reform is that pension investments will earn 7.5 percent every year, and that lawmakers will keep making full payments. These assumptions have proven wrong for years, creating our $47 billion and growing pension debt.

Indeed, if switching from a defined-benefit plan to a defined-contribution plan costs an employer more, not less, then why hasn’t the private sector reversed its decades-long move to 401(k) retirement plans?

While both the House and Senate advanced pension reform bills in June, special interests that benefit from the costly status quo created enough confusion to keep any bill from passing either body.

With a state legislature paralyzed by special interests—both internal and external—Pennsylvanians will see the bill for government services climbing without any sign their government is actually working for them.

They’ll simply continue to see rutted roads, endure an extra stop (or two) to buy wine and beer, and watch their property taxes rise to pay for escalating pension costs.

Voters want to see meaningful reform that uses their hard-earned taxpayer dollars wisely, and they don’t want to wait forever. The good news is, they won’t have to. Yes, the Big Government Party has a majority—but it’s a slim one, and more and more people are seeing how the game really works.

The Commonwealth Foundation was far from the only voice in these battles, but in our efforts alone, thousands of citizens wrote to their lawmakers urging that they side with the Taxpayer Party.

Make no mistake: Those people have had it, and they aren’t going away.

Matthew J. Brouillette is president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation

 

Big Government Party Blocks Reforms

Corporate Tax Rate And What They Really Pay

Corporate Tax Rate And What They Really Pay — The corporate income tax rate is 35 percent in the United States and is considered the highest in the world. The Government Accountability Office, however, has found that U.S. corporations with at least $10 million in assets paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 12.6 percent.

Who’d thunk it?

The reason of course is the loopholes and gimmicks that can be found by those able to afford high-powered accounts and lawyers.

Did you know that the most hip, liberal, “progressive”, “do no evil”
Democrat Party-supporting firms are among the worst offenders?

I’da thunk that.

Now some will point out that only people pay taxes not corporations, and that is basically true. Still, those businesses that  try to do the right thing and wish to follow the law should not be at a disadvantage to those that don’t.

Hat tip PJmedia.com

 

Corporate Tax Rate And What They Really Pay