Altmire May Switch To Yes On ObamaCare

Congressman Jason Altmire (D-Pa4) said in an interview on Fox News Sunday that he may vote in favor of the Obama Health-Care socialization bill.

Altmire was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the House version of the bill in November.

Sen John Cornyn (R-Texas) notes that once the House Dems vote for the Senate bill there is neither a guarantee nor a need for the reconciliation process should the President sign it into law.

A Step Forward For Laura Nachman

The lovely Laura Nachman of Havertown has expanded her profile by having the Delaware County Daily Times carry her excellent TV and radio blog.  Laura’s column is  the best source of news and gossip concerning the broadcast community of the Philadelphia area.

Congratulations Laura.

25% Fed Highway Money Not Used For Highways

25% Fed Highway Money Not Used For Highways — As we ponder how to fight global warming (ho ho ho),  become less dependent on foreign oil and get our economy back in gear consider that highway congestion costs us about $76 billion annually in wasted time and fuel, and the remember that our interstates are a bit behind in maintenance, according to Robert W. Poole, Jr., an M.I.T-trained engineer who directs transportation studies at Reason Foundation.

Washington taxes us 18.3 cents per gallon and there are those who would lead you to conclude that that is not enough since the maintenance shortfall is  between $60 and $90 billion per year and the federal Highway Trust Fund tasked to pay for the work is in the red, $8 billion so in 2008.

The Fund set up in 1956 was originally limited to caring for the interstates. It was eventually expanded to all roadways and, in 1982, began being used for urban transit. It now pays for things like sidewalks, bike trails and scenic routes. Basically, 25 percent of the highway money is used for things other than highways.

It may be that sidewalks, bike trails and urban transit are good things but they certainly should not be funded on a national level. While it is appropriate to ask a person in Florida to chip in for a road between New York and Erie (or a person in New York to ante up for one between Melbourne and Jacksonville), it is very wrong to force someone to buy sidewalks for somebody a thousand miles away.

If Americans were told that was what the Highway Trust Fund was going to do they would never have approved trusting their money with it.

25% Fed Highway Money Not Used For Highways

25% Fed Highway Money Not Used For Highways -- As we ponder how to fight global warming (ho ho ho),  become less dependent on foreign oil and get our

Karl Marx Has Answer For Looming Pa. Pension Pain

An unlikely source provides the solution to the looming fiscal crisis concerning the funding for pensions for retired Pennsylvania state workers and public school teachers which is expected to cause the tax burden to rise by $1,360 by 2012 for the average resident of the state.

Obviously, the money has been contracted and must be paid. So what to do?

Well the answer is ironically in the Communist Manifesto, the second plank of which calls for a heavy progressive income tax.

It’s simple. It’s beautiful.

Pensions, of course, are not taxed in Pennsylvania so here is how it would work:

–the first $50,000 of a public pension would remain untaxed.

–the next $50,000 would be taxed at 50 percent.

–anything above that would be taxed at 90 percent.

Let’s use the looming $313,000 pension of state Sen. Robert Mellow (D-22) as an example. There would be no tax on the first $50,000 so that means that Sen. Mellow would get $50,000 upon which to survive. He would then pay 50 percent of the next $50,000 back to the state adding $25,000 to yearly income for a total of $75,000. Of the remaining $213,000 he would pay back 90 percent leaving him with an additional $21,300 and an annual income of $96,300.

He could probably survive on that.

Who could object? Certainly not the bulk of pensioners who are retired teachers and consider themselves progressive and fully subscribe to the concept of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Granted most of our legislators are simply greedy and not full-blown Marxists and would certainly provide an obstacle to reform but certainly not an insurmountable one.

And yes the average taxpayer would still see somewhat of an increase in his burden but a ray of hope has been found.

Pennsylvanians, Prepare For Serious Pension Pain

Pennsylvanians should prepare for some serious suffering regarding disposable income come 2012-2013 and the cause is going to be their additional contributions to pay for the pensions of retired  public school employees,state workers, legislators, judges and others.

The Commonwealth Foundation estimates that the annual hit will be $1,360 for the average taxpayer.

State EmployeeRetirement System (SERS) which handles non-school retirees is funded entirely by state taxes and the looming annual bite to handle the coming crunch for Mr. Average is expected to be $390.
The School Employee Retirement System (PSERS)  is 54 percent covered by state taxes with the rest coming from school district taxes. The Commonwealth Foundation estimates the average bite to come to about $970.

And what is going to be the result of the suffering? Well it means that Senator Robert Mellow (D-22) will be able to survive on a $313,000 annual pension. It kind of makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

Of course we can expect our public servants to be reasonable in helping resolve the crisis. Oh, ho ho ho. I just wrote that to make you smile and take your mind off the coming pain. Of course, we can’t expect that.

People, it’s time to start getting angry. 

If you need help, check out the salaries of those who work for the SERS and PSERS

Tenacious Rohrer Marches On

Most observers figure the GOP nomination for this year’s governor’s race has been wrapped up with a pretty bow on top for party-endorsed  Attorney General Tom Corbett  but by the slew of stops he has slated for  March, last-challenger-left Sam Rohrer seems determined to see them surprised.

Rohrer, the state representative for the 128th District, has 10 stops scheduled for the rest of this month including two today starting with  the Greater Philadelphia Candidates Forum where he is expected to face off against Corbett and Democrats Joe Hoeffel, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, state Auditor General Jack Wagner, and State Senator Anthony Williams, who represents the 191th District which consists of parts of Philadelphia and Yeadon in Delaware County.

He will then go to the Pizza Como Club in Pennsburg for an 8:30 p.m. event sponsored by the Upper Montgomery County Republican Club.

The Chamber forum is scheduled to be broadcast on PCN at 9 p.m.

Rohrer has a meeting scheduled in Delaware County, 7 p.m., March 26 at the Delaware County Christian School, 462 Malin Road, Newtown Square.

African-American Republican To Seek Gov. As Independent

Robert Allen Mansfield, a sergeant in the National Guard with service in Iraq, has announced he is dropping out of the May 18 Republican primary election to run for governor as an independent.

The state Republican committee voted overwhelmingly, last month, to endorse Attorney General Tom Corbett for the spot.

Still in the primary race is state Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-128)

Mansfield is an African-American from Philadelphia, born in 1971, whose heroine addicted mother put him up for adoption. He spent two years in foster care before being adopted by the Mansfield family.

He had a stormy youth in which he ran away from home several times. Things began to turn around in 1991, he says, when he accepted Jesus Christ into his life. He earned his GED and  joined the Guard in 1996.

While in the Guard he did odd jobs and began his own financial firm, R. Allen Associates.

He now lives in York.

For the independent run he will require 19,000 signatures rather than the 2,000 he got for the primary.

Here is a link to a biography and his positions.

They include a belief in smaller government, school choice, free markets, and that every child is a gift from God.

I know that life begins at conception,” he says. “I don’t need to defer to a higher pay grade to come to that conclusion”

Pa Treasures Rot While Pols Get Fat

Pa Treasures Rot While Pols Get Fat

Pa Treasures Rot While Pols Get Fat
An historic miner’s house at Eckley Miners Village circa August 2009

The USS Olympia, a national treasure berthed in Philadelphia, is in need of up to $30 million to keep her afloat and its owner, Independence Seaport Museum, has gone on record as being unable to do that.

The ship, docked at Penn’s Landing across the Delaware River from the USS New Jersey, was Commodore George Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War and from whose bridge he uttered the words “You may fire when ready, Gridley”. It is one of the very few vessels from that era still in existence.

A few miles south opposite an IKEA store on Columbus Boulevard, the faded hull of the SS United States, once the fastest and among the most famous ships in the world, rusts away at Pier 82.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, the historic homes of Eckley Miners Village collapse under the not-so-watchful eye of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Reportedly, the Commission has refused volunteer help in maintaining the homes.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration and his fellow Democrats sit on billions of dollars allocated to provide stimulus to the economy. What could be a better way of providing jobs than spending some of that on restoring some of these bits of history using local labor? Heritage maintenance is actually an legitimate role of government. FDR practiced it in our last depression.

Of course, Obama doesn’t seem all that concerned about our heritage and this kind of spending doesn’t provide that much opportunity for bonuses for connected Democratic fat cats at Goldman Sachs and GMAC.

Meanwhile, retiring state legislators such as Senator Robert Mellow (D-22) are finding that their pensions are going to be almost three times that of the $110,000 salaries they collect while working.

Meanwhile, gym teachers are making $87,000 for 195 days of work.

People, it’s time to start getting mad.

Pa Treasures Rot While Pols Get Fat

Beautiful Curve From Jim Bunning

Beautiful Curve From Jim Bunning  — Jim Bunning, whose Father’s Day perfect game gives many Phillies fans smiles even after 46 years, has thrown the Democrats and their enablers a curve that should bring smiles to all who care about this country.

The major-leaguer turned Kentucky senator  has by his lonesome blocked a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and health insurance for the millions of Americas who have been out of work for months in the Obama economy.

Pretty mean, huh? Well Bunning points out that the bill he is blocking adds $10 billion to the deficit which is spiraling out of control under our president, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi — it’s projected to hit $1.6 trillion this year — and is violating a sworn oath made by our legislators to pay for new costs rather than use deficit spending.

Bunning points out that money to extend benefits can easily be found in unspent portions of  last year’s stimulus package, and that he supports extending those benefits with that money.

Sen. Reid and his fellow Democrats strangely don’t. People should really start asking why.

Update: Bunning, under pressure from the media and his own party relented allowing the Senate to vote, 78-19 , last night, March 2, to extend federal unemployment benefits for 30 days.

Bunning voted against it.

Both Pennsylvania senators — Democrats Robert Casey and Arlen Specter — voted for it.

Their children and grandchildren will thank them.

Beautiful Curve From Jim Bunning


Global Warming Explains Everything

The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it’s about to get even foggier.
–San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2009

Fog Over San Francisco Thins by a Third Due to Climate Change
The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay, scientists have found.
London’s Daily Telegraph, Feb. 15, 2010

Thanks to blogger Jim Hoft for the find and to James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal for spreading the word.