Rendell: “Pennsylvania’s economy is awesome, thanks to me”

Hat Tip to Tony Phryillas for this story I almost missed – Governor Rendell attacked the Allegheny Institute for pointing out that Pennsylvania’s exorbitant economic development spending hasn’t resulted in economic growth.

In his defense, Governor Rendell sites an IBM study from three years ago (that state taxpayers paid for), that PA added jobs since 2003 (as did every other state), and that job growth in the last three months (which means May, since PA lost jobs in June and July) outpaces the rest of the nation.  But wait – if Rendell’s policies are the reason Pennsylvania has done better than rest of the nation since April 2008, don’t they also explain why PA has done worse than the rest of the country since Rendell took office?

Indeed since 2002, PA has ranked 40th in job growth, 40th in personal income growth, and 42nd in population growth.  Almost every ranking of PA’s business climate puts in the middle or towards the bottom.  PA continues to lose residents to other states.

Governor Rendell also sites how many jobs are “created” by the Opportunity Grant Program that “pay for themselves”.  Not only goes Governor Rendell ignore the number of jobs that would have been created without the grant and the number of jobs destroyed by taxing productive Pennsylvanians to hand out to political selected companies – he also is ignoring an audit of that program.  That audit stated that many firms did not “create” the promised jobs, that many companies went out of business after receiving taxpayer grants, that is no way of evaluating the actual number of jobs created.