The Sun-Gazette has a recent article on the Pennsylvania state budget titled “Rendell lashes out at Senate plan”. It didn’t sound like something that would surprise me – but it did, because of the reasons Rendell is criticizing the Senate budget plan.
1) He says it isn’t balanced – “It’s out of whack from $750 million to $1 billion” and needs either more revenue or more cuts. But here is the problem: Rendell proposes spending (after his new cuts) $1.3 billion more than the Senate, his proposed tax increases amount to less than $500 million. In other words, by Rendell’s own math, his budget is out of whack by $1.55 to $1.8 billion.
2) He blasts privatizing the state liquor stores – this isn’t part of the Senate budget, but has been touted as a possible revenue option. Rendell decries using one-time revenue sources, “You don’t do stuff like that,” he said. “Those are gimmicks.”
One time revenue sources used in Gov. Rendell budget for this year and next:
- Federal Stimulus: $3.5 billion
- Rainy Day Fund: $625 million
- Health Care Provider Retention Account: $350 million
- Legislative Surplus: $175 million
- Marcellus Shale Lease Revenues: $174 million
- Prior Year Lapses (money unspent in 2007-08): $91 million
Hey kettle, this is the pot, you’re black.