Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Keep Working, Pennsylvania

The annual Cost of Government Day is upon us; soon we can start working for ourselves.

Keep Working, Pennsylvania

Good news, Pennsylvania, come Monday the money you make at your job (if you have one) starts to become yours.

That's right, the national, Washington-based, anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform says that by Monday, on the 227th day of the year, your gross income finally will have paid off your share of the cost of government at all levels.

This means whatever you make in the 138 remaining days of 2011 is yours. Woo-hoo!

The message comes from the Pennsylania Caucus Chairman of Americans for Tax Reform, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, who proudly notes he voted against EVERY tax increase considered by the legislature since taking office in 1998.

The national "Cost of Government Day" is actually today. But because Pennsylvania has so much government -- 67 counties, more than 1,000 municipalites (3rd highest in U.S.), 500 school districts and, of course, the largest full-time legislature in America supported by a staff of 3,000 -- state residents need three extra days to meet their government costs.

Americans for Tax Reform says that's more than it takes in 39 other states.

Says Metcalfe, “The Cost of Government Day Report serves as yet another grim economic indicator that all levels of government need to get off the backs of Pennsylvania taxpayers and out of our pockets. This year’s results also reveal that there is much more to be done to reduce the waste and inefficiencies that run rampant in our government, with the Department of Public Welfare being a prime example.”

And if you work in the public sector you're probably in a better position than most to afford paying for all our government.

A USA Today analysis, updated in March, says the average pay and benefits of public-sector employees is more than that of average citizens in 41 states. Pennsylvania, of course, is among them. The analysis says government workers here make, on average, $1,567 more a-year than the rest of us.

So keep working. Your government needs you. And try not to GRRRR too much.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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