Saturday, October 13, 2007

You're given 3 minutes to speak and you have to follow 90 minutes of chatter from the big-party politicians. Here is what Tony said.

Thanks to Chris Potter at, we can see the transcripts of the PUMP debate. He went and posted the message from Libertarian, Tony Oliva, too. Thanks!

Tony got to speak for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, candidates Ravenstahl and DeSantis spoke for more than an hour. Was it 60-minutes or 90-minutes?

Any way you slice it -- it wasn't fair. And, Tony did a great job to establish a relationship with the audience in this 'quickie.'

Funny chatter comes from the bigots who say that a shrinking city should have a shrinking debate stage, despite people being on the ballot. They say that Tony Oliva, the Libertarian, brings little to the discussion. They are using the exact same words that Tony said! Tony says, "I've heard it all before."

Tony is right. DeSantis and Ravenstahl are talking about different special interest tax breaks. Ravenstahl's goes to certain neighborhoods and not others. DeSantis has a plan to give tax breaks to start ups. Meanwhile, we've been living with Onorato who gives tax breaks to US Airways (new call center), and Westinghouse (move to Cranberry) and the Penguins (new arena with public funds).

I'm not against tax breaks for everyone. I'm against tax breaks for special interest groups. They offer a trifecta -- and the city goes down the drain farther and farther.
Tony Oliva: Good evening. I'd first like to thank the outpouring of support I got to actually be here tonight. I wasn't initially invited to this debate, nor any of the upcoming debates. It's going to be pretty interesting when I actually win this election. Some people might have some egg on their face, but that's quite all right.

Now, the way I see Pittsburgh right now -- or the way I see the two candidates to the left of me -- I see it as a choice between painting a bare room. And you have a choice right now of people who debated here tonight, between painting it eggshell-white or mother-of-pearl white. They even look like they have the same tailor. Now, maybe a splash of color is just what this city might need. I listened, I sat up there and listened to what they had to say, and I've heard things like this before. I've heard it all before. It's the same political rhetoric that Republicans and Democrats spew at each other. And I think it's time that we hear a different voice.

With me, I can safely say that the buck stops here. As mayor, if the city continues to stay in trouble, I wouldn't accept my full pay because any sane person who doesn't do the job shouldn't get 100 percent of their own benefits or a pay raise. And that would extent to city council and any appointed official. That's just a personal little quirk of mine.

Basically my idea for the city, put things back on track. Lower taxes for the working people, lower taxes for small businesses to increase the ability for small businesses to work here, or to start and have better jobs. Right now, even if you have a job in Pittsburgh, likely after coming out of college you're under-employed. You're not getting paid what you're worth, and what you paid $40,000 for that little piece of paper called the diploma for. Now, people say, "Tony, you talk about the young college graduates too often." And I do. But it's not only them that my ideas will benefit. It's also older Pennsylvanians, because if the younger people keep leaving, then the tax burden will pass on to older Pennsylvanians, people near retirement, people who are retired. People on a fixed income. And when you're on a fixed income and you're being taxed more, you have to get another job or leave the city. Now me, I'm 28 years old, and getting a second job -- no problem. I can take care of that. But when you've worked 40 years of your life, and you're enjoying the golden years and have your grandchildren you should be playing with, you shouldn't have to go be a greeter at Wal-Mart in order to cover up city government's mistakes and squandering of your money.

As a city, we need to be more inclusive, be more welcoming to new ideas, to all peoples. A big complaint I've heard about Pittsburgh is we're an old, white town. We need to offer more opportunities for more diversity in our city, and be welcoming to all peoples. Because right now, that will make us a better and stronger, and more welcoming place for everyone. We can start by including a Libertarian in the next mayoral debate. Thank you.
After the debate, Tony and I mingled at a Libertarian table and had plenty of great conversations with those in the audience. A few dozen offered to check out our DVD. And more offered up their email info to us. Some were very happy to see the Ron Paul handouts as well.


Schultz said...

Mark - next time you are on TAE with Ron Morris I want you to tell him that DeSantis's plan for giving tax breaks to startups is baloney because it is pandering to "special interest groups."

In fact, next time you're on there I'll be sure to call in to debate you on this load of BS.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Special interest tax breaks are a load of BS.

Ron will agree with me. All with a good sense of economics and public policy will too.

When you are in start-up mode, the last thing you want to do is court a politician.

Rendell does a lot of crap like this. It buys votes. Look at American Eagle Outfitters.

Look at how many 'start-ups' came and have now left after the reduced rent at the new South Side Works petered out.

The Tom Ridge TAX HOLIDAY for PC buys was another load of BS.

The JIM RODDEY plan to go downtown and spend money after 9-11 was another pandering ploy.

The free parking in December that Jim Ferlo was great at providing -- was another give-a-way for a special interest group -- the Pgh Downtown Partnership. They were trying to give props to Lazarus, Old Navy and others who have since gone OUT OF BUSINESS.

It is not government's business to take from Peter to pay Paul.

Rather -- find me a tax such as the 'deed trasfer tax' that is way to high. And cut that. Cut it for EVERYONE. That would stimulate the economy. That would help existing owners, new owners and the entire marketplace. Those are the types of tax holidays that I want and they should be forever.

Don't be drinking too much cool aid.

The load of BS is tax breaks for special interest.

What does DeSantis say about the new drink tax plan by Onorato?

What does DeSantis say about the new $2 per day car rental tax?

I'm on the record against both of those.

Schultz said...

Yes, special interests tax breaks, to the likes of big corporations like PNC Financial, are BS.

Lowering or reducing taxes on startups so they start in the city limits rather than in Cranberry, Wexford, Greentree, etc is not the same thing.

AEO is not a startup but they did get tax breaks for moving to the southside, but they weren't even stipulated to have their two new buildings at the SSW LEED certified. Whenever public money is used strings like these need to be attached.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I don't agree with the logic above that says, "Whenever public money like this is used, strings need to be attached."

My point is simple.... Don't use public money. Don't fuss about any strings.

Remember what Peduto said. He wanted to give tax abatements to less than ten neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the Ravenstahl counter plan wanted to give the tax breaks to some 20+ neighborhoods. Well, the city has 99 neighborhoods.

Both ideas are bad. They are special interest deals. They backfire in the end.

Pittsburgh has done these deals all day and all night long for decades and the city shrinks.

They are not fair. They are not just. They are not with equality. They are not serving the taxpayers. They are not what municipal nor state nor federal government should be doing.

Some say this TIF is better than that TIF. I say the ideal TIF is NO TIFs at all.

Presently the city only trys to bribe folks into starting or staying or growning their business. And, the bribes don't work.

Without a TIF or without a bribe -- there is NO GROWTH now because the TAKERS are the only ones at our door.

A new era is needed with new class of people ready to come to Pittsburgh -- to make their own fortunes without government intervention.

Southwest Airline came to the airport after the word was out that the give-a-ways to US Airways were over. Southwest does not want to compete with a subsidized competitor. And, most often, Southwest would subsidize them with their customers money. (i.e., car rental tax, etc.).