Opinion

Tax hike not first answer to state budget shortfall

Editorials

Seven weeks before the state budget deadline, Pennsylvania’s ledger sheet gets scarier looking by the day. The state Department of Revenue is reporting a budget shortfall of $1 billion through the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. That’s a 4-percent shortfall, the largest in a ...

Missing Kate O’Beirne

Opinion

My adopted hometown of Washington has been accused, not always unfairly, of being a city full of scheming climbers who are frantically courting the company and the favor of the powerful. In this and so many respects, Kate O’Beirne — the conservative leader and writer who died too soon, ...

‘Tax Cuts for the Rich’?

Opinion

One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago. A classic example is the phrase “tax cuts for the rich,” which is loudly proclaimed by opponents, whenever there is a proposal to reduce ...

Transparency with hotel tax revenues key to bureau trust

Editorials

The Lycoming County Commissioners’ 2-1 vote last week to hike the local hotel tax from 3 to 5 percent drew understandable boos and jeers. Lost in the political backlash are some important realities. A 2016 state amendment to the county code gave the commissioners the opportunity to raise ...

A culture of independence

Opinion

On May 4, 1776, the colony of Rhode Island declared its independence from Great Britain. That was two full months before the Continental Congress got around to issuing the document we now revere as the Declaration of Independence. But, even though Rhode Island acted on its own, they were ...

Populist movement pausing, not retreating

Opinion

WASHINGTON — Yesterday’s conventional wisdom: A wave of insurgent populism is sweeping the West, threatening its foundational institutions — the European Union, the Western alliance, even liberal democracy itself. Today’s conventional wisdom (post French presidential election): The ...

Signs of comeback by natural gas industry welcome

Editorials

When the natural gas industry was booming in Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2011, there were 111 gas rigs active in the state. In the fall of 2016, in the midst of an industry slump in Pennsylvania, there were just 13 active rigs. But the industry has started to come back in the state and, very ...

Mortgage interest deduction can’t be pried away

Opinion

WASHINGTON — Attempting comprehensive tax reform is like trying to tug many bones from the clamped jaws of many mastiffs. Every provision of the code — now approaching 4 million words — was put there to placate a clamorous faction, or to create a grateful group that will fund its ...

Ann Coulter the liberal

Opinion

Because the California National Guard couldn’t be mobilized in time, Ann Coulter had to withdraw from giving a speech at Berkeley. If you take it seriously, that’s the import of UC Berkeley’s decision to do everything it could to keep the conservative provocateur from speaking on ...

Senate holds key to better health care insurance

Editorials

Think of the House vote last week for The American Health Care Act as Step One of the nation’s health care reform. Even as lawmakers representing our region helped push the repeal and replacement of Obamacare through the House by a 217-213 vote, questions about the bill’s details and ...

Reagan’s lesson for Trump: Across-the-board tax cuts

Opinion

It’s something most conservatives would not have imagined a year ago: The opening act of Donald Trump’s agenda in the White House contains a real whiff of President Ronald Reagan. To be sure, there’s plenty the Reaganites won’t like — talk of trillion-dollar federal building ...

Trump and Talking right

Opinion

President Trump did something recently I have long advocated. He met with a small group of conservative journalists, pundits and radio talk show hosts. I was among them. After ticking off a list of what he said were his accomplishments leading up to the arbitrary 100-day marker of his ...

Downtown traffic pattern changes: Debate welcomed

Editorials

Given the debate about traffic patterns in downtown Williamsport, the best answers may come via a traffic-impact study that is upcoming to determine the effects of changing traffic patterns downtown. But this much already is certain. The commercial business district of Williamsport is divided ...

Consolidation of DDAP is wrong move

Opinion

Today, 10 Pennsylvanians will lose their lives to a drug overdose. This week, upwards of 1,000 people will die of an overdose in the United States. By comparison, the Vietnam War, a period that spanned 10 to 12 years, claimed more than 56,000 American lives. We are now approaching that level ...

Scammers seem to be everywhere; Utility offers help, advice

Opinion

It seems like you can’t look at the news or social media nowadays without reading about email and phone fraud. Scammers will pretend to be just about anybody – utility employees, bank employees, even IRS agents – to try to get hold of your money or your personal information. It’s ...

Thwarting threats to the nation requires relentless attention

Editorials

Former CIA and National Security Agency head Gen. Michael Hayden’s presentation last week in Steubenville, Ohio, may have been a sobering one for some of those in attendance. It was quite an education in threats facing both our security as a nation and our safety as individual ...

Berkeley didn’t birth free speech, attempts to bury it

Opinion

Demosthenes, the Athenian rhetorician and champion of liberty, pointed out around 355 B.C. that residents of Athens were free to praise Sparta’s regime, but Spartans were banned from praising Athens. In 1689, the British passed a law guaranteeing freedom of speech in Parliament. A century ...

City engineer has been threading the needle for 35 years

Editorials

A city engineer, given the nature of the job, is going to get all the complaints and none of the glory. For that reason, stoic John Grado was probably perfectly suited for 35 years of involvement in the city of Williamsport’s infrastructure. He has been a city engineer, a streets and ...

A road map for dealing with campus radicals

Opinion

Jonathan Haidt is a member of one of America’s smallest fraternities — those who attempt to see beyond their own prejudices. In the left-leaning Chronicle of Higher Education, he notes that “intimidation is the new normal’’ on college campuses. The examples are well-known: The ...