Issues

Joe Soloski is running for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2022. As the Libertarian candidate, Joe believes in the principles of limited government and minimum state spending as the best way to maximize the freedom and personal liberties of each resident of Pennsylvania.

Below, you can find where Joe stands on the key issues facing our Commonwealth.

Reduce the Emergency Powers of the Governor


As we saw in 2020, the Governor wields tremendous power in emergency situations within the Commonwealth. The COVID-19 economic shutdown crippled Pennsylvania’s economy and needlessly resulted in the premature death of many small businesses. The economic lockdown also resulted in an increase in domestic violence, child abuse, marital strain, divorce, depression, and suicides.


Since mid-2020, I have been promoting an end to the Governor’s unnecessary emergency powers. Thankfully, you the voters put an end to Governor Wolf’s unconstitutional overreach in the Spring of 2021 when you passed the constitutional amendment to curtail the Governor’s emergency powers to insist on legislative concurrence to extend emergency measures.

Term Limits for State Legislators


Term limits will breed a class of legislators that are more interested in serving the Citizens of Pennsylvania as opposed to perpetuating a career in elected office. Special interest groups will have less influence on an elected official that has a limited term of service. Legislators with imposed shorter terms will have a greater interest in reducing and/or eliminating personal benefit from serving since their terms in office are limited.


Therefore, I am proposing these limits for our elected state representatives:

  • For State Legislators: 8 years; 4 terms (in any order)

  • For State Senators: 8 years; 2 terms (in any order)

Convert the Legislature to a Part-Time Assembly


Pennsylvania is one of only ten state legislatures to operate with full-time elected officials. Changing to a six-month, part-time legislature would allow the Commonwealth to cut the compensation of elected legislators (currently over $90,000 per year) in half, to almost $45,000 per year, saving the taxpayers over $9 million per year in compensation expense. I am promoting much deeper cuts in legislative salaries. Most states have a part-time or hybrid legislature. I see no reason why Pennsylvania can’t do the same and save the residents of the Commonwealth significant tax dollars.

Reduce State Spending


Pennsylvania's spending has increased from $20 billion in 2004 to $40 billion in 2020. That’s a $20 billion, or 100%, increase in just 17 years! During that time, the State’s tax coffers increased due to personal income taxes and sales taxes generated by the fracking and casino industries that the State did not have before. Pennsylvania doesn’t have a revenue problem; it’s got a spending problem. We need to hold the line on taxes and then decrease them while decreasing spending. I will be proposing a spending cut of at least 5% per year for every year that I am in office. I think that we can do much more; but for the moment, I am committed to seeing the budget cut at least 5% annually.

Sell Pennsylvania's State-Owned Liquor System


Only Pennsylvania and Utah employ complete government control of wholesale and retail liquor sales. While it is progress to see that wine and beer can now be readily available in some retail outlets, Pennsylvania's stranglehold on liquor sales is inefficient, inconvenient, and proven to be a failure. Pennsylvania needs to relinquish its control of the distribution and sale of distilled spirits. Free market solutions are always better than government control.

Decriminalize Cannabis and Other Certain Drugs


The War on Drugs has proven to be an abject failure and a horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars and law enforcement efforts, and has only resulted in filling our prisons with so-called violators of victimless events. In states and countries that have decriminalized cannabis and other drugs, the rates of drug usage and addiction have decreased. This has also led to a decrease in other crimes, such as theft and robberies.


While it is great to see Congress pass the MORE Act to take steps to decriminalize cannabis, more must be done. As Governor, I will pass legislation that decriminalizes cannabis, and move to pardon any state prisoner that is wrongfully locked up for a non-violent drug offense.

More Issues:

Protect Gun Rights


As stated in the Pennsylvania Constitution: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned”.

“Shall not be questioned”. I think the Constitution is pretty clear on this issue. I am in complete agreement. I will always defend our inherent right to defend ourselves. As Governor, I will veto any bill that attempts to curtail our right to own a gun and to defend ourselves and our families. More specifically, I want to see Pennsylvania become a ‘Constitutional Carry’ state. You won’t hear that from any of the Republican or Democrat candidates.

LGBTQ+ Rights


Since 1971, the Libertarian Party has championed that ALL people, and of course that includes LGBTQ individuals, are entitled to enjoy their inherent, God-given rights. Discrimination due to one’s sexual orientation, age, gender, occupation, etc. must be fought at every level. I, and the rest of us in the Liberty Movement, will continue to work for the rights of LGBTQ individuals, just as we always have; not just when it’s politically expedient.

Reduce Property Taxes


Our current system of property taxation is antiquated, outmoded and unfair. Be it your home or another piece of investment property, the current property tax system is nothing more than a system of “renting” your property from the government until you die or sell that property. I have seen too many people lose the homes that they have worked so hard to acquire and pay-off, only to have the government seize those properties from them due to financial hardship and unpaid real estate tax bills.

Unfortunately, our current property tax system currently funds public education. While I support a complete overhaul of our public education system, in the interim, I would advocate for a different system of taxation, like local sales taxes, to fund education while working to completely overhaul our system of education for our children. Elimination of property taxation is absolutely necessary.

Protect Small Businesses by Ending Coronavirus-related Restrictions


The COVID-19 pandemic and its related lockdowns taught us several things:

  1. We need to protect those that are most vulnerable to the virus.

  2. Blanket lockdowns have horrendous economic consequences.

  3. Ancillary consequences can be caused by the lockdowns: increased depression, suicides, domestic abuse, child abuse, family strain, and marital failures, just to name a few.


The virus is real and it must be addressed effectively. The unintended ancillary consequences have devastating long-term effects and that damages individuals, families, and fray our society. Government lockdowns and intervention have only made those problems worse.


Listen to Joe Soloski's stance on Tom Wolf's shutdowns below.

Eliminate the State Inheritance Tax


For decades, Pennsylvania has had an Inheritance tax that is imposed on a person (and their estate) when they die. I have never believed that death should be a taxable event. Any assets that a person owns at their death have already been taxed via the income that they earned in their lifetime to acquire those assets. If I am elected, I will be advocating for the repeal and elimination of Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax. Again, dying in Pennsylvania should NOT result in a taxable event!


End Gerrymandering


I am for redrawing the Congressional Districts in Pennsylvania so that the District lines eliminate the disenfranchisement of voters. The current Congressional District map of Pennsylvania looks like a jigsaw puzzle and it was designed that way intentionally to ensure that incumbent elected officials will get re-elected regardless of how unpopular they are. Republican/Democrat gerrymandering of districts isn’t just political corruption; it’s political arrogance.

Reduce the Corporate Income Tax Rate


Pennsylvania has the second-highest Corporate Net Income tax rate in the Nation. This is an effective deterrent to keep businesses from opening their doors here. It is businesses that create jobs, not government. If we are serious about attracting more companies to locate in Pennsylvania, we need to do all that we can to promote a positive climate for commerce. Reducing, and ultimately eliminating, the Corporate Net Income tax will only help to make Pennsylvania more competitive in attracting new business here, while also keeping existing ones. Business-friendly states don’t have income taxes.

Reform Pennsylvania's Education System


Our system of public education needs to be completely overhauled. During the 2020 lockdowns, we have witnessed virtual learning and home-schooling becoming more popular choices, out of necessity. Parents and students need more choices when it comes to education. More charter schools, more private education enterprises, school choice, education competition, tuition vouchers, and the re-directing of tax monies to the parents’ schools of choice should be part of this continued natural evolution of our education system.

Promote Free Market Healthcare Solutions


Free-market health care is the solution to our health care problems. Only competition will drive down prices for all medical services and procedures. Government has no place in the management or rationing of health care services. Government only causes artificial shortages of services and increased prices. Competitive health services pricing will go a long way towards transparency of services and pushing the overall cost of healthcare services down.

Reduce Property Taxes


Our current system of property taxation is antiquated, outmoded and unfair. Be it your home or another piece of investment property, the current property tax system is nothing more than a system of “renting” your property from the government until you die or sell that property. I have seen too many people lose the homes that they have worked so hard to acquire and pay-off, only to have the government seize those properties from them due to financial hardship and unpaid real estate tax bills.

Unfortunately, our current property tax system currently funds public education. While I support a complete overhaul of our public education system, in the interim, I would advocate for a different system of taxation, like local sales taxes, to fund education while working to completely overhaul our system of education for our children. Elimination of property taxation is absolutely necessary.

Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Achieve Pension Reform


Since 2001, the Pennsylvania State Employee Pension System has gone from having an almost a $7 billion surplus to a $50+ billion unfunded deficit. This happened because our elected lawmakers decided to take their existing, good pension plan and put it ‘on steroids’. In the process, they saddled all Pennsylvania taxpayers with a pension obligation that is obscene. It benefited our lawmakers and other State participants, but it was, and remains, a terrible disservice to us, the Pennsylvania taxpayers.

The Pennsylvania Constitution protects the State pension system, so we can’t just float new legislation to fix-it back to the good state that it was in before our lawmakers changed it. So, if I am elected, I will be proposing that a referendum be placed on the ballot to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution so that I can then propose legislation to reverse the irresponsible actions of our lawmakers and revert the State Pension system back to its former rules and conditions.

Abortion


I am, personally, Pro-Life. Deep down, I believe that we all are. That being said, I like the Libertarian Party platform that states that government should not have a hand in abortion. I don’t believe that government should be promoting or funding abortion. It has no Constitutional basis.

And let’s be honest: even while I am Pro-Life, I know that abortion will always be there. Government prohibition always achieves a black market for the very product or services that it attempts to curtail. Terminating a pregnancy will always be an excruciating decision for any woman or couple. While I want to see every baby carried to full term and born healthy and whole, there are always going to be circumstances where a woman will find herself making that tough decision to end her pregnancy.

We, as a society, need to work on promoting alternatives to assist women with an unwanted pregnancy. Pregnancy support services and streamlined adoption options need to be promoted by individuals, non-profits organizations, and communities. Government can have an effective hand in this process by simply getting out of the way.

Occupational Licensing


I have never believed that the State should ever seize your right to make a living and then sell that right back to you. That’s just a back-door tax and they do it now for many occupations and professions.

The policing of those within a given occupation should be done by their respective professional organizations, not the State. Let’s end occupational licensing, NOW.

Green Energy / Fossil Energy Initiatives


Energy is a free-market commodity. I’ve never liked the idea of initiatives, tax credits, refundable credits, etc. where government is picking its chosen winners and losers through its tax policies. I would work to eliminate all government subsidies to all types of energy producers.