spending

What can be done to prevent falling into another sad (crime-ridden) period in Philly history?

As Philadelphia reels from the burial of it's 5th officer killed in line of duty in 13 months, many people in the political and public safety communities wonder if we are starting to slide back into the cultural set of circumstances that brought about the upward spiral of crime raising more and more out of control in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

As a child of New York, I vividly remember the "dark old days of the '70s". I saw how politicians chose to raise taxes and spend those taxes for new spending. It was in this period when cities like NYC and Philadelphia enacted or raised city income/wage taxes as well as new business taxes. It kept raising taxes as it went on to lose the majority of their manufacturing jobs and half of their corporate business population to the newly vast, suburban infrastructure.

Recurrent Crises: Budgets

A new day, and a new way and an old crisis. I am sure we've all noticed that Philadelphia's budget problems reoccur every 10 years or so, no matter who is at the helm. A rethink of what should be taxed and how taxed must be at the heart of any and future current debates and policy.

Every crisis puts the most vulnerable programs and people at risk. Why them? Well, they don't have a constituency and advocates with ideas that move beyond traditional nostrums.

How about this idea. Just for thought then action?

Philadelphia's Budget: Everyone's Right

Mayor Nutter’s announcement of today is understandable, yet also avoidable. Understandable because the traditional reaction to an economic downturn in government is to cut services, lay off workers and rethink taxes. Avoidable because all options should be on the table, but are clearly not.

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