ShareThis Page

The Wolf raises: Spittle from the clarion

| Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Whatever positive clarion Gov. Tom Wolf sounded about attacking Pennsylvania's $2.3 billion budget deficit by, in part, refusing his office's $190,823 salary, staying at his York County home and banning gifts to his staff is being drowned out by the spittle of pay hikes for his top officials.

Facing a $4.2 billion deficit, Mr. Wolf's predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett, had his Cabinet officials refuse automatic cost-of-living raises authorized by a 1995 law. But instead of following that sensible precedent, Wolf is starting his Cabinet's salaries where they would have been had Mr. Corbett's Cabinet members taken their COLAs. Some executive branch jobs not covered by 1995's law are getting pay hikes, too.

Thus, 19 department heads will cost a total of $230,346 more this year than they did in 2010. It sends a terrible message to taxpayers who will be tapped to close the budget gap. Think greed, arrogance, entitlement and self-service before public service.

So much for Tom Wolf's “unconventional governor” pledge. Making a show of his own frugality, he plunders taxpayers' pockets to fill those of his top officials.

That's a costly mistake, on so many levels, that could have been — should have been — avoided. That Gov. Wolf embraced it reflects poorly on an administration that promised a new way if not the proverbial new day.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.