Only You Can Stop This

Scott Wagner is “one of those rare people you could do a million-dollar deal with on a handshake.”

This was a quote that appeared in a local newspaper not long ago, authored by one of the many people with whom I’ve had a business relationship over the last nearly 40 years. I was especially appreciative of the comment because it confirms and reinforces what I have always valued above all else.

In my world, it doesn’t matter how much money we make, what we acquire in this life or what we accomplish. Nothing defines us more than the weight of our word and the content of our character. It’s called honor — a virtue Governor Tom Wolf cares little about.

Tom Wolf’s poor stewardship has emptied wallets and wrecked Pennsylvania’s financial health. His thirst for control and taxation has decimated job creators and sent countless jobs to other states. Now, as if all of this isn’t enough, Tom Wolf is ripping up agreements.

Despite promising to “support, obey and defend the Constitution,” for example, Tom Wolf is taking blatant steps to violate it. After cleaning out Pennsylvania’s bank accounts, Tom Wolf is now attempting to sell off Pennsylvania assets, and borrow money without legislative approval. It’s unconstitutional, but he’ll do anything to get his hands on more money. What he won’t do is reign in his reckless spending. What he won’t do is honor his oath — and the contract he has with you and me.

And that’s not all.

Act 13, which passed in 2012, placed an impact fee (a tax) on natural gas drillers. The bill guaranteed that the impact fee would go away if any other tax was levied against the gas industry. Not surprisingly, Governor Wolf wants to add a severance tax on top of the impact fee which is currently in place. With the second highest corporate tax rate in the country, Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry already carries the heaviest tax burden in the nation.

I have news for Governor Wolf. You can’t abuse an industry that no longer exists in Pennsylvania — which is exactly what’s going to happen. If hostile taxation isn’t enough to send businesses running for safer states, a government that cannot be trusted to honor its word will surely seal the deal.

After nearly 40 years as a private sector businessman, I could write a book on the subject of building a trusted brand and successful business with honor and integrity. I’d write about how breaking deals and failing to deliver is the quickest way to earn a reputation for being untrustworthy, and unreliable — and Tom Wolf would be the perfect case in point.

Governor Wolf is earning Pennsylvania a reputation for being untrustworthy and unreliable, and he will get away with it — if we let him. Folks, we really can have honor and good character in government, but not until we change governors. It’s up to you to make that change. Get me to the Governor’s office, and I’ll do my part. You can take that to the bank.