OP-ED: Toomey the clear choice of Pa.


From 2006 to 2010, the Democratic Party held complete control of Congress and the average taxpayer suffered. These years brought us trillions of dollars in new debt, massive bills stuffed with literally thousands of wasteful pork barrel projects, and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in bailouts to politically favored industries such as the Wall Street banks and housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When elected to the U.S. Senate, Pat Toomey promised to stand up to these corporate interests, and his record so far has been exemplary.

Immediately upon arriving in Washington, Sen. Toomey led the successful charge to stop wasteful projects such as Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" and a rain forest in Iowa. Thanks to Toomey, there is now a moratorium on such earmarks, and he is the author of legislation that would ban the practice permanently.

In 2012, when Democratic Leader Harry Reid attempted to renew a program created in the Wall Street bailout that would have kept the taxpayers on the hook for another $1.4 trillion, Toomey deftly used a Senate procedural tactic to kill the program.

Instead of resting on these laurels, Pat Toomey is pressing ahead in his fight against corporate cronyism. Our Pennsylvania senator is currently working on the Taxpayer Protection and Responsible Solutions Act to ensure taxpayers are never again forced to bail out the big banks on Wall Street. He has introduced a bipartisan bill to reform the federal sugar program that currently fixes prices and import quotas to rip off U.S. consumers for the benefit of large sugar producers. Sen. Toomey has also introduced the bipartisan Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act to abolish the policy that forces almost 40 percent of U.S. corn to be burned for fuel, which is counterproductive for just about everyone except the producers of corn.

Truth is, it seems even Democrats in Pennsylvania are aware of Sen. Toomey's impressive record, as they are growing more desperate in their attempts to find a viable nominee. Ex-Congressman Joe Sestak and his followers have been limited to repeating the same empty attacks they used in 2010 (even if — like the line about derivatives repeated recently in this paper by Tanya S. Wagner — they were already proven unequivocally false by independent fact checkers). This is the same Congressman Sestak who took campaign contributions from the very companies he steered earmarks towards. It is even the same Sestak who personally invested in Wall Street after giving them a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

Discouraged, Democrats are now scrambling to find a new face for their old ideas. Recently announced candidate Katie McGinty will try to fit that bill. Unfortunately, McGinty is a Harrisburg insider who, in between stints in government, went to work for the same industries she steered benefits to, all under the guise of environmentalism.

As the 2016 U.S. Senate race comes into focus, Pennsylvanians will see the clear choice is to re-elect Sen. Pat Toomey so he can continue to hold Washington accountable to the average voter by fighting the narrow interests that benefit from government big spending.

— David N. Taylor is president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association.