Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gee, is someone up for re-election?

The recent actions of state Rep. John Perzel warrant the creation of a separate wing for him in the Pantheon of Pennsylvania Panderers. The biggest selling point when lawmakers were trying to win approval for slots gambling in Pennsylvania was the widespread property tax relief the slots proceeds would supposedly create. But Perzel has other ideas. He recently proposed that the property tax relief, at least initially, go only to senior citizens, and the Philadelphia Republican suggested that if Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell didn't like it and decided to veto such legislation, it would mean that Rendell hated the elderly. The measure won initial House passage by a wide margin. Do you think it's a coincidence that Perzel and the other members of the House are up for re-election this year, and that old people vote with much more regularity than younger folks? Now, I don't hate the elderly. My parents fall into that category, and I'll be getting my AARP card this year, but there are more people than just senior citizens who need a little relief from property taxes. I would much rather see more of the money go to young people with children who are trying to pay a mortgage, feed and clothe their kids, etc., than give all the relief to elderly people who most often already own their homes and have only taxes and upkeep to worry about. Perzel and the other House members who supported his legislation will surely get plenty of mileage out of their noble bid to help our senior citizens when primary time rolls around. But lest anyone forget Perzel's grand gesture before the November election, perhaps Perzel should go on a whistle-stop tour of Pennsylvania this fall, stop in every town and city, and pucker up and smooch the backsides of every retiree he can find. He's doing it symbolically now. Why not do it for real later?



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