McGinty, Toomey clash over taxes


McGinty, Toomey clash on taxes — and truth

from the Delaware County Daily Times

by RIck Kauffman

October 1, 2016

LANSDOWNE >> The fierce and fiery battle shaping the landscape of the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty has proven as ugly and volatile as the presidential race.

Between the candidates comparing their opponents to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — McGinty has called Toomey a “tea partier” and a “high flier from Wall Street,” while Toomey lumps McGinty with Clinton’s “dangerous national security agenda” — the political advertisements have become increasingly pointed.

“What’s he been doing in Washington this whole time that he doesn’t have anything nice to say about himself?” McGinty asked Friday at a campaign stop at Empire Diner in Lansdowne after expounding on the Toomey ad campaigns, which claim she will raise taxes on the middle class.

“I come from a middle class family, and what I know is that every penny counts for those families,” McGinty said. “Every single proposal I’ve put out there in this campaign is to cut taxes to working families.”

McGinty called the statements by the Toomey campaign “total baloney” and cited a 2007 CNBC interview in which Toomey claimed that he was in favor of eliminating the tax burden on corporations.

“It is shameful, he’s full of baloney, and he needs to come clean with voters on his convictions to end taxes for corporations and increase taxes on middle class families by $3,000,” McGinty said.

In years since, Toomey has clarified his stance and has called simply for a reduction in corporate taxes. In fiscal years 2012 and 2013 his budget proposals called for lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. 

Toomey has maintained that higher corporate taxes hurt job growth.

Yet, McGinty countered Friday that removing the tax burdens from corporations means middle class families are left shouldering the burden. 

“The audacity of this guy to just think that he can tell whole non-truths to his constituents, it’s so disrespectful,” McGinty said. 

Toomey held an event in Erie on Friday where he too discussed tax policies. 

“Katie McGinty is desperately trying to run from her liberal record, but the facts speak for themselves,” Toomey’s campaign responded to McGinty’s claim in a statement. “She has proposed middle-class taxes on income, energy and even everyday items like diapers, daycare and textbooks.”

Toomey claims that McGinty’s support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget would increase taxes on the middle class.

“It’s a fact that McGinty’s big tax-and-spend agenda would cost middle-class families another $3,000 a year,” Toomey’s statement read.

In Lansdowne, with support by Yeadon Mayor Rohan Hepkins, state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164 of Upper Darby, and Barbarann Keffer, who is running for state representative in the 163rd against GOP incumbent Jamie Santora, the goal was to rally support ahead of the general election just 40 days away.

“We can’t get the things done that we need to get done, we can’t move forward the values that we care about like property tax reform, like fully funding our education system, like a woman’s right to choose, all the things we care about as Democrats,” Davidson said. “We need 102 people if we want to pass anything in the house, we need Barbara Ann Keffer, and we need Katie McGinty in the Senate.”

Keffer, a first-term Upper Darby councilwoman, is running her campaign on the podium of “property tax relief and fair funding for schools,” and is a supporter of the Wolf budget plans.

“My opponent ran on taxing the Marcellus Shale drillers, he got into office and then he voted against that tax,” Keffer said of Santora. “I am here to run and win this year to fight for our families who are struggling, whose needs aren’t being met by Harrisburg.”

The Marcellus Shale drilling tax was proposed by Wolf with his increase in the state income tax, which was shot down 127-73. It broke mostly along party lines. GOP members in the House maintained opposition to any sales or income tax increase, believing the budget can be balanced without them.