Pennsylvanians are up in arms about Governor Corbett’s deep, draconian budget cuts to public education and basic services. It’s not because we don’t understand the need to balance the books, it’s that the disabled, the working poor, and above all young students are having to make do with less while corporate loopholes and giveaways like the Delaware Tax Loophole siphon off hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year.
The idea of fully funding public education isn’t a new or radical idea – in a way, it’s old-school. The concept of parents working hard every day and paying their fair share of taxes in order to ensure that their kids could have a decent education and move up in life? That’s the American Dream in a nutshell, and it’s under attack in the Keystone State.
After reading “Teachers’ Union Calls for Funding from Taxes, Drilling” (March 12), I recall my school days during the ’50s and ’60′s. Parents wanted their children to do better than they, and they knew taxes for public schools would actualize that dream. Students, families, communities and institutions thrive when a country invests in the future, its children. Yet after draconian cuts to education last year, Gov. Tom Corbett wants more cuts this year.
Average taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes and they cannot afford to contribute to offset the proposed education cuts. Working taxpayers are struggling with stagnant wages and rising prices for necessities like higher gas prices, food, shelter, clothing and public transit. They need a raise in wages, not in tax rates.
Corporations, conversely, are thriving (thanks in large part to the taxpayer-funded bailout), and are paying minimal taxes. It is corporations’ turn to contribute. Instead of the insubstantial impact fee recently enacted, extractors must pay a more accountable severance tax, like other states require. Also, let’s close the Delaware tax loophole so that wealthy corporations can no longer deflect their tax responsibilities.
Fair taxation is an important governmental function in creating a livable, well-educated, just and free society. It’s time for corporations to support the education of future generations who’ll pay for the bailout.