Catasauqua Press

Monday, November 11, 2019
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by The Press in Opinion

Budget blunders and the GOP

For the second consecutive year, Republicans on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners are saying we don’t need a tax increase. But Lehigh County just borrowed $76 million. We have countless bridges still “waiting” to be fixed. We have no recovery center in a county plagued with addiction. We have employees who are underpaid and a population of seniors and children in need who are underserved.

We’ve seen this before in Lehigh County and are seeing it now in Allentown and with the Allentown School District — massive fiscal problems on the horizon because leaders failed to practice true fiscal discipline. That’s where you look at revenue issues in the long term, not just in terms of the next election.

The Republican majority’s “Happy Meal tax cuts” of a few years ago, coupled with borrowing to pay for needed services in the face of the budget gap they left, ended up costing county taxpayers $33 million in interest payments. Commissioner Brad Osborne and his GOP colleagues want to double down on that failed philosophy. I used to think the party of Lincoln valued sensible budget policy and true fiscal discipline. Apparently, the party of Donald Trump does not.

So don’t be fooled. What we need is a budget based on the needs of our taxpayers and our infrastructure for a better future for all of us — not just politicians and their aspirations in the next election.

It’s time to make Lehigh County work for you.

Editor’s note: Amy Zanelli, a Democrat, is a Lehigh County commissioner.