York and Reading mayors concerned about fiscal cliff

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Dec 11, 2012 2:15 PM

(Undated) -- Two Democratic mayors in the midstate are warning their cities would be hurt financially, if the country is allowed to go over the fiscal cliff.

York Mayor Kim Bracey and Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer say the combination of budget cuts and tax increases, totaling $1.2 trillion over the next decade, would be crippling to many Pennsylvania cities.

They note one-third of discretionary domestic spending by the federal government trickles down to the state and local levels.

Bracey says Congress just doesn't get it. "I don't just understand how our federal government uses 'job creation,' as a buzzword, but so quickly and casually eliminates the spending that does lead to the actual job creation," she says.

Spencer says his city is already dealing with a financial crisis and can't afford another hit. "Remember, we were the poorest city in the country with a population of 65,000 or above last year," he says. "The good news is we're not number one anymore. But, we are number six."

Spencer and Bracey are joining their fellow mayors in Allentown and Philadelphia to call on Congress to allow tax cuts for the country's top two percent of earners to expire.

A recent report by Penn State's Institute for Research in Training and Development shows Pennsylvania could eventually lose some 47,000 jobs and $5.8 billion in total economic output, if a deal is not reached to avoid the fiscal cliff.

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