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  • Video of the Week: Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's Ode to Orwell

    The scene opens up on an image of the Earth and slowly zooms in down through the clouds while an ominous female narrator declares, “Your name is Tom … You live just off of 5th Street … Nice car, Tom—nice house.”

    As the camera sinks lower and lower, it finally stops to hovers over Tom’s house while the narrator warns him to pay his outstanding debt because after all, “we do know who you are.” The scene fades and the words, “Find Us Before We Find You” are flashed on the screen before it goes dark.

    Is this a trailer for a new sci-fi movie? A remake of the classic novel 1984? No, the video being described is for a commercial for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s new Tax Amnesty campaign. This is the latest effort by the state to close its reportedly $1 billion deficit. (One wonders how much the cash-strapped state spent on this campaign comprised of radio, print and television ads.)

    While Pennsylvania is not the first state to try and deal with tax delinquency, nor the first to offer similar tax amnesty programs, this ad’s bizarre tone and implied threats have already garnered it a certain level of infamy online. But while its easy to criticize the ads, it’s important to remember that they aren’t particularly shocking when considering their source. Governments too often—whether on the state or federal level—fail to consider that the bigger and more systemic problem they face is not one of revenue, but rather spending.

    As you can see from the chart,  state and local spending has consistently risen since WWII, along with federal spending, a topic Heritage’s JD Foster has studied at some length. Until that point is driven home, governments at all levels will continue to focus on short-term fixes and stopgap solutions, leaving the next budget crisis and stagnant economic recovery for the future.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Video of the Week: Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's Ode to Orwell

    1. stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      For someone who lives in PA I'm offended that the state would pull this kind of BS. Sure the add looks hi-tech, but it screams and wreaks of "Big Brother," which myself and my family are become ever more warry of as the tenacles of government reach into every crevas of our personal lives. Sure people should pay their taxes (if they owe them), but also If government wasn't the pig at the table overspending OUR money then this add may be laughable rather then offensive. It has though provided a clear distinction bettween those in power (democrats) and those conservatives who wish to reverse our current situation by telling the truth rather then scare people into paying taxes. If the democrats want to be tossed out in droves then this add will actually help do that.

    2. Louis Hilker 7 West Lakewood Dr. Fenton Mo. 63026 says:

      Your artical on Inside the Heritage Internship made a lot of sense to me. We have to start recruiting younger Conservative people in uderstanding how our government works. If we continue to follow the Liberal establishment of growing the government our country will go broke and wind up like Greece. Can you blame the people from Greece from rising up when their already adapted to haveing free health care, free education, and government pensions. besides all the other benifites that the government can’t afford. Now the government wants to take it all away. I can see the same thing happening in America. You can’t continue to print dollars bills that will not be worth the paper it is printed on.

    3. Pingback: Ode to Orwell from the PA Department of Revenue | EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE

    4. Jill, Chicago says:

      Check out this funny take on the Pennsylvania tax commercial. What if it was made into a movie?

      http://www.ahlo.tv/2010/06/07/pennsylvania-depart

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