Transparency is the foundation of our democracy. Taxpayers have a right to know how state government functions and how it spends their tax dollars. There is no excuse for anything less than 100 percent transparency. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s treasurer’s office received a grade of C in 2018 from the non-profit group, U.S. PIRG, a noticeable decline from the state’s 2015 grade of B.
This is unacceptable. It’s not enough to talk about transparency. A fully transparent system needs to be easy to use, accessible offline, simple to search, and needs to account for every penny spent. It’s time to open the books.
Pennsylvania’s treasurer’s office is sitting on $3.5 billion in unclaimed property that belongs to our state’s taxpayers. That’s the people’s money, not a slush fund for Harrisburg politicians. Let’s make an honest effort to return every penny to Pennsylvania taxpayers. No talking points, no empty press releases, no excuses.
It was recently disclosed that Pennsylvania's two largest taxpayer-funded pension systems paid $6 billion in hidden fees to private money managers over the last decade - much higher than the $2 billion in fees that were previously disclosed. That is taxpayer money that could have been invested and helped deal with Pennsylvania’s pension debt. It’s time we hold the treasurer’s office to a higher standard. As treasurer, Stacy will conduct a thorough review of every penny and cut hidden fees and other wasteful spending.
In 2018-2019, nearly 30,000 Pennsylvanians used the state’s tax-deductible 529 Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to help pay for college. This is a good start, but there are more than 98,000 students at Penn State alone. With student debt rising precipitously, we should have to settle for “good starts.” As treasurer, Stacy will help Pennsylvanians start and maintain 529 accounts that will help make education affordable for everyone.
Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve a treasurer who will commit to the job at hand, not hop from one political office to another. Stacy challenges the incumbent treasurer to sign a “Do the Job” pledge, promising the voters that he will fulfill all four years of his term if reelected.