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| Monday, May 16, 2005 12:00 a.m

Environmentalism — just one species of the tax-and-spend socialism that has wounded Pennsylvania’s economy — turns the government into private-sector job killer: “You can’t do thaaaat! We’ll tell you what you can do.”

Prospective employers and young Pennsylvanians have replied succinctly: “Bye-bye.”

We are proud to oppose the Growing Greener II ballot referendum on Tuesday. The $625 million borrowed money for “protection of the environment” is, most importantly, a slush fund for the re-election of Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell and the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Supporters tell overtaxed Pennsylvanians the referendum would authorize no new taxes or fees. While that is technically true, it is also in the deepest sense false.

The debt will be paid; money that could remain in the private sector will not.

Yet, the Growing Greener I environmental project undertaken under the Ridge administration six years ago still has $600 million. The gluttons want more and will decide in the future how the money will be spent to their best political advantage.

We are conservationists. As such we insist on lower taxes and public spending that will free money for voluntary donation.

But if you want to further empower the crew that professes to love the environment yet continues a slash-and-burn campaign against the private economy, by all means vote “Green.”

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