Brouillette v. Veon Recap

Capitolwire’s Cate McKissick covered Monday’s hour-long call-in program on State Spending Limits on PCN TV.

Here are a few excerpts from the story…

Veon calls spending cap bill ‘bad public policy.’

HARRISBURG (Dec. 5) – Rep. Mike Veon, D-Beaver, said that proposed spending caps are “good politics but bad public policy,” and “a solution looking for a problem.”

Veon made his comments on the Pennsylvania Cable Network call-in show on Dec. 5. Also on the show was Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of Commonwealth Foundation.

“I don’t think we have an overspending problem in the state of Pennsylvania,” added Veon.

Brouillette disagreed with Veon’s assessment.

“I think Pennsylvania is exhibit A of the need for spending limitations,” he said. “Pennsylvania has been struggling at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to job performance, income growth performance, population growth-nearly every single key economic indicator suggests Pennsylvania is having a problem and that problem is overspending by state government.”

Veon also said that Pennsylvania ranks 26th in the nation in per capita spending by its government.

“That’s a very good level of spending,” he said.

Brouillette countered by saying that there’s plenty of discretionary spending by the state that can be done away with. He also said a cap would force the legislation to prioritize it’s spending.

“Corporate welfare to big business like Comcast, Wal-Mart or Cabela’s – that goes straight to their bottom line,” he said. “There is real cuts that could occur if there is the courage to do so.”

Brouillette cited as an example the current plan to sell gambling licenses at $50 million each as a “giveaway” by the state to special interest groups.

“Giving away for $50 million?” questioned Veon.

“Oh yes,” Brouillette said. “They are worth upwards of $500 million in urban areas such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. We’re going to be making millionaires into billionaires over time. That’s the kind of public policy that we’re seeing happen.”