Just like Jan Brewer of Arizona, Barletta is a national hero on dealing with illegal immigration. Their brand of immigration reform makes life better for real Americans, and it makes illegal border crossers think twice before violating our sovereignty. The media would like Americans to think Barletta fights for just this one cause but that is not true. They would also like all of us to think that it is OK for foreigners to take our jobs and those of our children from entry level to high tech.
Lou is also solid for the 2nd amendment. He is pro US energy, pro-life, and pro-education. His pros are great and his cons are few.
Barletta rose to national prominence as the Mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, right down Interstate 81 from Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. In 2006, this small city enacted some of the most effective anti-border jumper measures in the country. Hazleton's law put illegal foreign nationals on notice that they were not welcome in Hazleton. The penalties were stiff and so the law was effective. As another plus, the law made English the official language of Hazleton, and saved the City money by not having to produce official documents and signage in multiple languages. Barletta helped Hazleton save a lot of money because he had the guts to do it. Don't you wish that Wilkes-Barre officials had the guts to do the same?
Barletta makes no excuses. In his own words, he explains why he took such protective action for his City: "I saw my city gripped by fear. Because of violent acts committed by illegal aliens, my residents were afraid to shop -- or even drive on certain streets." Thousands of cities in America are crying out for relief from the burden of illegal immigration. Small towns like mine can no longer wait for Washington. What is Wilkes-Barre's creative response to its major problems? --- bury the taxpayers.
Perhaps Mayor Leighton and Wilkes-Barre's City Council, along with the City Administrator and the City Clerk, could learn from the many examples of Lou Barletta and take a principled stand on the 31% tax increase that will cripple the pocketbooks of those of us that live in Wilkes-Barre City.
City Council, the City Clerk, and the City Administrator are paid very well for what they do, yet we hear only that the Mayor has decided that a 31% real estate tax increase serves us best. What do individual Council members have to say about this? Citizens of Wilkes-Barre who do not work for the City are shocked that our City Officials would even consider such a preposterous increase.
We can do better for sure. We citizens therefore must demand that each member of Wilkes-Barre City Council, individually and independently, submit a proposal to balance the budget with no more than a 1.7% tax increase. The usurious 31% tax increase is avoidable with proper fiscal management. Additionally, the Mayor should submit his best proposal on how the city can balance its books with no more than a 1.7% tax increase. All eight proposals should be detailed as this is one time when the work of each will be scrutinized by a very disappointed public.
Additionally, citizens should also demand that the ten highest paid employees of the City submit a similar proposal. In their proposals, they should stipulate in detail why they are worth what they are paid. The Times Leader or another civic minded organization may be kind enough to conduct a poll to see which individual proposal from the eighteen would be the best for the City to implement. I suspect that with so many different proposals, each with the objective of eliminating the 31% tax increase, one or two or perhaps all would be acceptable to the people. The 31% tax increase is unacceptable.
As most seniors and fact checkers know, the increase in Social Security this year is a meager 1.7%. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients will likely be wiped out by an expected 7-9% in Medicare part B premiums next year. So, there is nothing left over for the City to confiscate. That is a fact.
Despite how hungry City Council and the Mayor seem to be for additional revenue, the people are broke. With so many City employees earning over $80,000 per year, there is no plausible argument that the City can conjure up that would convince seniors, many of whom make $80,000 or less every ten years, to cough up another 31% of their home's value to a mismanaged Wilkes-Barre City Government. The same goes for those who have lost their jobs, are on unemployment, or have taken a low paying job to help make ends meet. A fair increase in millage would be no more than the 1.7 percent inflation rate that the federal government has imposed on seniors.
How is it that our well paid City workers chose not accept any wage concessions when those of us who pay their salaries typically earn less than 1/4 of their bloated wages? I know and you know that a Council and a Mayor that represent the people and not themselves would demand that the 300 City employees consider the devastating financial impact on the 40,000 plus citizens of Wilkes-Barre. If the workers choose not to help the citizens then the citizens should choose not to help the workers! It is the Mayor's job and Council's job to represent the people first, not the City employees. No City can spend beyond its means. The City must cut its excessive spending. If this group of elected officials can't do it, let them resign so we can find people that can get the job done.
As Scrooge would ask the third angel about the future of this miscreancy upon the citizens of Wilkes-Barre: Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or the shadows of things that May be. In the Christmas Carol, Scrooge gets no clear answer, but he sets about to change his future. We, the citizens of Wilkes-Barre, like Scrooge have the opportunity to avert this future injustice. We must demand accountability from our elected officials. Receiving eighteen detailed reports outlining a way to avoid this taxation disaster is a good way to get City Officials to begin thinking the right way. Meanwhile, let's place the recommendation for a 31% tax increase into a blue garbage bag and put it in the City Dumpster. That bird ain't gonna fly!