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Pa. business leaders want true pension reform

The recent announcement that Moody’s downgraded Pennsylvania’s credit rating shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the Keystone State.

For months, financial analysts warned lawmakers that the state’s growing pension deficit was raising serious concerns about the state’s overall fiscal stability.

With a public pension system that is buried beneath $50 billion in red ink, this deficit is the single greatest threat to our state’s financial future.

Unfortunately, there remains a concerted effort among some in Harrisburg to downplay, or even ignore, the severity of this problem. Rather than consider ways to control costs and reform what is clearly a broken and unsustainable system, far too many of our elected officials continue to target job creators to pick up the growing public pension tab.

In a state that already is considered among the most expensive in the nation to do business, the last thing any Pennsylvania employer needs is to be tapped for new taxes. Ask any business owner or operator, and they will say with unwavering certainty that this is a recipe for failure.

There is a long list of lawmakers who are committed to reforming our pension system, and they should be applauded for their efforts.

But those lawmakers who are instead opposing reform and pressing for new taxes owe it to their local businesses to explain why they believe job creators should pay more to support a broken system that they refuse to fix.

Hopefully, Pennsylvania’s credit downgrade sends a new warning to lawmakers and prompts them to take action.

But if not, every business should be prepared to send more money to Harrisburg. And every working resident should be prepared to see more jobs leave for other states.

This is certainly not an outcome we welcome, but it’s the harsh reality of inaction.

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