Faced with a budget crisis of his own making (with implicit collaboration /leadership from Joe Hoeffel), Jim Matthews is looking for politically expedient ways to get Montco out the mess and still get re-elected. Peggy Gibbons has the story at The Intelligencer:
“What we are looking for over the next several months is ideas, solid ideas,” said Matthews. “What is not tolerable is second guessing after the fact. That is not helpful to anyone.”
How to pass a tax increase to pay for your cronyism without making it look like you are passing a tax increase to pay for your cronyism? Crony Jim Maza, who makes $90,000 a year in his capacity as a part time county employee, has an idea:
If the county labeled the tax a “public safety” tax, most would not object to paying higher taxes, said Deputy Chief Operating Officer James W. Maza. But when it is listed as just a tax increase for government, most would object “because they think government is a waste,” said Maza.
As usual, Commissioner Bruce Castor is being especially “unhelpful” in solving Matthews’ and Hoeffel’s image problem caused by the budget crisis, caused by they themselves:
While Republicans across the country snapped to attention when the economy collapsed and realized our country could not spend its way to prosperity, and that the times called for austerity, Jim Matthews teamed up with Joe Hoeffel to oversee a massive expansion of our county government spending fueled by borrowed dollars.
Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the way Barack Obama is running the Federal Government. Flashback to the 1990s, a time I referred to during the 2007 campaign as “Hoeffel I.” We find ourselves in exactly the same place we were when Hoeffel was commissioner before: broke. You see, in the 1990s, Hoeffel pushed the sham “bipartisan” government against the wishes of the voters and the result was a disaster. In fact, when Jim Matthews announced his run for Commissioner in 1999, he said he was running to oust the “traitor” who aligned himself with Democrat Hoeffel to bring the county to the brink of financial ruin. Ironic, isn’t it? In 2007, I said we couldn’t afford “Hoeffel I” and we can’t afford “Hoeffel II.” Well, thanks to Jim Matthews, we got “Hoeffel II.” And the results, predictably, were the same. Some say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Welcome to the asylum.
My guess is that a new “public safety tax,” will indeed be coming to your Montgomery County household soon.