Posts Tagged crisis

This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: PA Pension Crisis


Radio Program Schedule for the week of September 1  – September 7, 2012

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Heritage Foundation President/CEO Dr. Edwin Feulner about his new book The American Spirit: Celebrating the Virtues and Values That Make Us Great
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on why deflation may be worse than inflation

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Matthew Brouillette of the Commonwealth Foundations hosts a Capitol Watch roundtable look at the looming state pension crisis with Kevin Shivers from the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and with Rick Dreyfus of the Commonwealth Foundation
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on the intolerance of the Left

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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U.S. Senator Pat Toomey to Address PA Leadership Conference


Joins Brit Hume, Grover Norquist & John Gizzi as announced speakers

PA Leadership Conference 2012United State Senator Pat Toomey will be the kick-off speaker at the 2012 Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, the premiere annual gathering of conservatives each year in Pennsylvania.   This year’s conference will be held March 23rd and 24th at the Radisson Penn Harris in Camp Hill (Harrisburg), Pennsylvania.

Elected in 2010, Senator Toomey has quickly become a major player in pushing a conservative economic agenda in congress. He has authored a number of bills and played a key role in efforts to restore America’s historic free market system.

In addition to Senator Toomey, Fox News Senior Political Analyst Britt Hume, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Human Event’s Political Editor John Gizzi are confirmed conference speakers.   The conference will also feature a debate among the candidates seeking to become the Republican nominee to take on incumbent U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. this November.

“Early bird” discounted registration for the 2012 Pennsylvania Leadership Conference is now open at www.paleadershipconference.org. An updated conference agenda and listing of conference sponsors and exhibitors can also be found on the web site.

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Another State Budget Battle Lies Ahead


Governor Tom Corbett and Republicans in the state legislature have spent the last six months patting themselves on the back for fulfilling their main constitutional duty of passing a state budget on time. It was a significant achievement, more so because it held the line on taxes. But that victory was fleeting because yet another budget battle is getting underway.

The problem is despite large Republican majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly and the coming to power of a Republican governor the budget victory has not been followed up by the enactment of structural changes to address the cost drivers in the state budget. Major funding issues, such as the state’s ongoing need for investment in roads and bridges, remain untouched.

State Budget Secretary Charles Zogby signaled the start of the 2012 budget battle in late December by reporting that revenue collections are coming in below estimates and that budget makers will once again face a deficit. Spending interests decried Zogby’s report as a tactic, but the fact is the ongoing national recession coupled with Pennsylvania’s generally inhospitable business climate have depressed economic activity resulting in less income and earnings to be taxed.

Also contributing to budgetary pressures is the Corbett’s administration’s failure to address labor costs. A number of union contracts expired last year and, generally speaking, the new agreements lacked significant cost-saving concessions.   It was a missed opportunity to bring labor costs under control that will have a lasting impact for years to come.

Legislatively, unions survived the first year of Republican domination of state government largely unscathed. Even minimal reform, such as increasing the ceiling for prevailing wage laws to kick in on public works projects, have yet to advance through the legislative process. Issues such as ending government collection of union dues and passage of Right-to-Work legislation have not seen the light of day.

Structural reforms to education, such as school choice, ran aground in the legislature. Privatization of the state’s liquor store monopoly is stalled. Calls for passage of a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas continue to echo around the halls of the capitol, creating uncertainty in the state’s biggest growth industry. A year into the governor’s term, no plan for eliminating waste and cutting the state’s out-of-control welfare system has emerged.

And now the bad news: this is an election year. Every seat in the state House of Representatives and half of the state Senate will be on the ballot in the upcoming April primary. The official start of the election process, gathering signatures to get on the ballot, begins in just a couple of weeks. Typically most major legislative accomplishments occur in non-election years because incumbents shy away from casting controversial votes in the midst of their re-election campaigns. Thus expectations for progress this year are low.

Those who thought large Republican majorities in the legislature would result in a more fruitful session are disappointed. But, the lack of output by the General Assembly reveals an inconvenient truth: Republican control does not equate to conservative policies. There continues to exist within both the House and the Senate – particularly in the Senate – a small but pivotal number of Republicans who are beholden to labor unions and whose goal it is to prevent enactment of the conservative policy agenda espoused by the governor.

In short, the GOP is a dysfunctional family. Governor Corbett and the state House leadership tilt conservative, but the Senate leadership is under labor union sway. Thus the three power centers cannot agree on an agenda, resulting in gridlock. Given that most state policies currently in place are not to the liking of conservatives, gridlock is a bad state of affairs.

With another budget battle getting underway against the backdrop of election pressures look for little to get accomplished in 2012. In fact, holding the line on taxes and getting another budget passed on time will be a Herculean task. Simply holding on to 2011’s meager gains may be all that is possible in the upcoming year. On the positive side voters have before them the opportunity to elect to office senators and representatives who will pursue more taxpayer friendly policies. The key to future progress is an educated and involved electorate in this important election year.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

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This Week on American Radio Journal: Governor James Gilmore


September 17, 2011 – September 23, 2011

This week on American Radio Journal:

Lowman Henry talks with former Virginia Governor James Gilmore now head of the Free Congress Foundation about the President’s jobs proposals

Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on GOP wins in two special Congressional elections

Adam Tragone of Human Events has an Off the Cuff interview with Jeff Lord about his American Spectator article on the political philosophy of Ron Paul

Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on why the rich are paying their fair share of taxes.

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

Kevin Shivers from the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and Matt Brouillette of the Commonwealth Foundation discuss President Obama’s jobs proposals and the impact of union power on the state economy

Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on why unemployment is Barack Obama’s Iranian hostage crisis.

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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