Ralph’s Position on Some Important Issues
Jobs & Wages
If we hope to improve hourly wages and create jobs, we’ll need to make Pennsylvania more competitive from a tax perspective. Pennsylvania has the third highest corporate net income tax rate in the nation! Ralph believes that making Pennsylvania more business-friendly should be a high priority in the legislature. We need to direct our focus on improving the size and quality of our workforce to attract new employers. Ralph is ready to endorse creative solutions including providing tax incentives for companies to train workers to acquire new skills and provide higher paying job opportunities. These tax incentives should be provided with strict accountability targeted at improving wages and adding jobs.
We need to get rid of the $100 bandaids and $3500 MRIs! There appears to be no end to the ever-increasing cost of health care and the rising cost of health insurance. As doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responders are stretched to the limits, corporate health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers lock in record profits. Creative accounting is not going to solve our health cost issues. It will take good old fashioned cost cutting to improve Pennsylvania’s health care situation. Ralph will fight to eradicate waste, fraud and abuse. Our legislature must continue to push for full transparency for the consumer and accountability for corporate interests. Above all, Ralph will support free-market solutions like increased competition among insurance providers to curb the cost and improve the quality of health care for Pennsylvanians.
Safety & Security
The safety & security of all Pennsylvanians should be top priority. Recent events have revealed the importance of providing doctors, nurses, police, EMS and all emergency responders with the equipment and technology necessary to handle a future crisis of any kind. Never again should PA emergency services personnel be asked to save lives without masks or other required gear or training. Ralph will listen to the experts to understand their needs and take action to support their efforts. He will work with the legislature to establish adequate reserve funds for emergency response. This should be the top priority for this and all future Pennsylvania legislatures.
As your representative, Ralph will support funding proposals that are focused on improving the quality of STEAM curriculum so that our students are better prepared for post-secondary education or technically advanced vocational options. He believes we should provide tax incentives for local businesses to offer cooperative opportunities for secondary school students to better prepare them to make informed career choices. We also need to find free market solutions for Pennsylvanians that address the skyrocketing cost of post-secondary education and the looming student debt crisis in America.
The size and spending in state government continues to grow at an alarming rate. Governor Wolf’s sixth budget proposal came in at $36.2 billion, including over $2 billion in new spending. Ralph believes that we need to make a concerted effort to reign in state spending. The government programs funded by the state need to show measurable results and evidence that they are achieving their goals. Are they wise investments of state dollars? Is there a better way to achieve our goals? These are the questions the legislature needs to demand answers to. Programs that are not delivering on their promises need to be eliminated or revamped. In short, government needs to operate more like a business – with an eye toward effectiveness and efficiency and with lower overhead.
Pennsylvania’s state and local tax rates are among the highest in the nation, exceeded only by New York, Connecticut and Illinois. Yet some state officials seem intent on raising our taxes even more to pay for ever increasing government spending. This year Governor Wolf proposed to increase spending by over $2 billion with his $36.2 billion budget proposal while local families, seniors and workers are struggling to cut expenses and reduce their household budgets. Ralph believes that state government should be doing the same. Harrisburg cannot continue to reach into the pockets of Pennsylvania residents and take their hard-earned money simply because elected officials are unwilling to make the tough budget choices that are needed. Ralph will serve as the voice of the taxpayer and will work to hold the line on taxes so that Pennsylvania workers can keep more of what they earn.