Metcalfe Demands Democrat Leadership End ‘We Feel Your Pain' Hypocrisy and Replace COLA Return Sham with Reality-Based Repeal Vote
State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) issued the following statement today challenging top House Democrat leaders to end their political salary reduction scam and call for a vote on January 6, 2009, the first session day of the 2009-2010 legislative term, to repeal the legislature’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
“Once again, in an attempt to fool the taxpayers, just like the 2005 pay raise vote and their vote to enact the current state budget that is pulling our Commonwealth into the economic wasteland of a billion dollar plus budget deficit and potential tax increase next July, House Democrat leadership is making yet another calculated attempt to mask nearly a decade of fiscally-irresponsible spending. In reality, even if the House Democrats were truly sincere about returning this 2.8 percent salary increase, they cannot legitimately do so without actual repeal legislation. The new salary is established under the COLA law, checks were already issued on Dec. 1, taxes deducted and the COLA increased salaries factored into the pension system.
“Again, Mr. McCall, Mr. Eachus, Mr. DeWeese and Mr. Evans all cast votes for each of the governor’s tax-spend-and-borrowing, welfare-expanding state budgets, the 2003 Personal Income Tax increase, and fought tooth and nail against repealing the 2005 pay increase. Therefore, they are all equally responsible co-conspirators for Pennsylvania’s rapidly-deteriorating, fiscal situation.
“True leadership requires sacrifice. Returning a few thousand dollars to the Commonwealth, which will still factor into their state pensions, would not be defined as a significant sacrifice by the majority of Pennsylvania taxpayers. It is especially important to note when you consider that Mr. McCall stands to receive a $43,939.52 salary increase above base pay for a total annual salary of $122,254.18 if he is elected Speaker, and that Mr. Eachus is already guaranteed to receive a $35,153.29 salary increase above base pay by ascending to Majority Leader for a total annual salary of $113,467.95. This year, these triple-figure-collecting Democrat leaders led the state into a budget deficit by increasing total state spending by roughly $4 billion while ignoring anticipated revenue shortfalls.”
“I stand ready to cast a YES vote for the repeal of the COLA. If Democrat leadership truly wants to return the COLA, the first order of legislative business during the 2009-2010 session must be to legitimately repeal all legislative COLAs retroactive to Nov. 30. If House Democrat Leadership is truly sincere about protecting Pennsylvania taxpayers during these difficult economic times, at minimum, they should also take individual action by refusing their leadership salary increases and work for the pre-Dec. 1 member base salary.”
“Until those actions are taken, Pennsylvania taxpayers should consider all ‘We Feel Your Pain’ gestures from House Democrat leadership as smoke-and-mirrors hypocrisy.”
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
House Republican Public Relations