News & Brews August 16, 2022

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Latest attacks in Senate, gov’s race

In the latest round of campaign attacks, Democrat John Fetterman is accusing Republican Mehmet Oz of being out of touch based on a video of Oz shopping at “Wegner’s” to build a “crudité.” Fetterman shot back, “In PA we call this a … veggie tray,” And PennLive reports, “Oz seemed to combine the names of two Pa. supermarket stores, Redner’s and Wegmans.” Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Democrat Josh Shapiro is hurling accusations of racism and anti-semitism in his ads attacking Republican Doug Mastriano.

Wolf: Dem lawmakers have standing, but Republicans don’t

So, remember how Gov. Wolf argued that GOP legislative leaders lacked standing to intervene in his lawsuit seeking to block voters from voting on proposed constitutional amendments? Well Democratic legislative leaders also asked to intervene, and Wolf has no problem with that. Perhaps it has something to do with the D after their names. Meanwhile, a cadre of government unions including AFSCME, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and UFCW filed an application for an amicus brief supporting Wolf’s efforts. Gee, how does blocking voters from having a voice qualify as serving union members?

Op-Ed: CNIT reduction is first step in ‘long climb to business tax competitiveness’

David Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, writes in Broad + Liberty that Pennsylvania’s history of “very high business tax rates … may have reached a turning point, as the 2022-23 General Fund budget includes a path to phase down our punishing 9.99% Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT).” The rate could reach 4.99% in 2031, yet Taylor warns that the “promised CNIT phase-down will have to be defended tenaciously in each upcoming budget. The longer the phase-down continues without interruption, the likelier it will be that we will reach a destination of economic prosperity.” Read his piece here.

Where does our money go? SEPTA edition

So you know how, for years, about half a billion dollars per year in turnpike tolls went to fund mass transit in Philadelphia? Well, SEPTA’s ridership right now is only about 45% of pre-pandemic levels, so the rail system is spending more to try to attract riders. Apparently all those billions of dollars SEPTA needed to stay afloat did not fund courses on supply, demand, or wise financial management. As the Commonwealth Foundation’s Nate Benefield tweeted, “So more than half the riders have left, but SEPTA plans to spend more to attract more riders?!?!”

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