This week the Pennsylvania House passed RACP (pronounced RCAP) reform by a wide margin of 184 to 9.
RACP - the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program - is a political goody bag, rewarding politicians with borrowed funding for local "economic development" projects. Some of the more controversial projects include the Arlen Specter Library, the corporate headquarters of bankrupt Tastykake and numerous sports stadiums. Most recently, RACP was the source of a $3 million grant to the Second Mile, the charity founded by alleged child molester Jerry Sandusky.
HB 2175, sponsored by Rep. Turzai, seeks to shrink the program that's helped cover the commonwealth in red ink. Since 1986, the program has racked up more than $4 billion in debt. The RACP reforms include:
- Reducing the RACP debt ceiling immediately from $4.05 billion to $3.5 billion and then incrementally until it reaches $1.5 billion.
- Requiring future projects to demonstrate a substantial regional or multijurisdictional economic impact.
- Enacting a stringent review and approval process within the Office of the Budget, including meetings in local communities where the projects would take place.
While reducing corporate welfare programs is a step in the right direction, true reform would get rid of this government wealth redistribution scheme that benefits the politically savvy and contributes to the $120 billion in combined state and local government debt - almost $10,000 for every man, woman, and child.
Debt is just one part of the four-alarm fire that is threatening to destroy Pennsylvania's fiscal house - watch this video to learn more.