Masch on “Irreparable Harm” by spending limits

Budget Secretary Michael Masch issued a news release decrying all the “vital services” that would be cut, had the state implement spending limits in past years. Masch’s demagoguery obscures the facts that:

  • He thinks higher taxes and more people on welfare is the measure of good government- we feel that more money left in the hands of families and fewer people dependant on the state is.
  • Masch applies spending limits to each line item in the budget – the TPA would apply to the total (General Fund) Budget. Areas where costs are increasing could go up, while other areas could remain consistent or be reduced to keep within the spending limit.
  • Masch ignores that the TPA would allow the limit to be exceeded – by a 2/3 vote – if there was justification. “Vital services” may be such a need (though Masch’s definition of vital is quite broad).
  • Masch notes that “other areas” of high growth include “economic development” spending and Growing Greener – i.e. corporate welfare. Cutting those areas from the budget and there would be plenty of surplus left for “vital services.”
  • As pointed out in this blog before. unrestrained government spending is driving cost increases – particularly in areas such a health care – not the other way around.
  • Masch claims that increases are necessary “in response to federal funding cuts.” FALSE! Federal funding to the state budget has increased 21% under Rendell. Masch is outright distorting the truth. While the Governor’s budget predicts a 1% decline in federal aid for 2007-08, he also predicted a decline at this point last year. Instead federal funds increase by 5% (or $930 million more than the Governor’s “estimate”).