Rendell breaking promises: How different February is from September and October

Last fall Ed Rendell campaigned for governor on his supposed record of cutting taxes. Surely the ads came across as promising more of the same. Rendell started backing away from those promises a week after the election. Now he is running away from the promises very quickly.

Gov. Ed Rendell proposed a hefty package of new and higher taxes yesterday that includes raising the sales tax to 7 percent statewide, increasing tobacco taxes and adding a tax on oil company profits as a way to pay for $27.3 billion in spending for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

That's an increase of $1 billion over fiscal 2006-07, and it didn't take long for Republicans to tell the Democratic governor, wait just a minute.

"There is a chart in my office that shows the word 'no' in 50 different languages, and we may have to use every variation before this budget process is over," said Sen. Gibson Armstrong, R-Lancaster, Senate Appropriations Committee chairman . . .

Note Rendell's strategy:

"The first year of a governor's four-year term is often the time when he proposes politically risky ideas, and yesterday was no exception." He did the same thing in his first term and by the end of it he was campaigning as a tax cutter.

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