PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Beth Anne Mumford from Americans for Prosperity of Pennsylvania spoke with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT evening host Gary R’nel about the budget problems that are occurring in Harrisburg.

She feels that Pennsylvania residents “should not be asked to send another penny to Harrisburg” because raising taxes prevents lawmakers from having to make “the tough decisions” on the budget such as dealing with pension reform.

“We’ve got a $50 billion unfunded liability. That means that tax payers are on the hook for $50 billion to pay out future benefits for public sector pensions. What we need to be looking at are ways to reform that, because sixty cents of every new dollar that comes into Harrisburg is used to cover pension costs, and if we don’t get those under control, it’s not going to matter the money we’re sending to Harrisburg because all of that money is going to go directly into funding those pensions.”

For Mumford, all of the conversations that lawmakers in Harrisburg are having are about “’how do we raise taxes and get more money?” but the focus should be on “taking a step back” and determining whether or not the money currently being spent have been done so wisely.

“We have a $29 billion state budget in Pennsylvania. There’s not a lack of money in Harrisburg, but the problem is nobody wants to look at those programs and determine whether or not they’re useful, they’re being run efficiently or if they’re even meaningful any more. Things go on the books and they never go off the books. We spend a lot of money on things that aren’t actually helping the state. They’re not helping promote opportunity and growth within our economy and lawmakers are often talking about ways to bring more money in to Harrisburg to divvy it up.”

Mumford concludes saying that, “Every time you take a dollar out of somebody’s pocket that’s a dollar less that they have to spend in the own household budget, in the own business, in their own community.
We think that people (individuals) are far better at determining how best to spend that money and more efficiently than the lawmakers in Harrisburg are.”