Rendell’s “Pay the Inmates, not the Guards” Strategy

The Morning Call’s John Micek has a follow-up article to yesterday’s revelation that inmates would be getting paid while the guards would not during the current budget impasse.

Micek quotes me at the end of the story…

Matthew Brouillette, president of the free-market favoring Commonwealth Foundation, a Harrisburg think-tank, said the fiscal effect of a $1 million-a-month inmate payroll amounted to a ”rounding error” in a state budget deficit now pegged at $3.2 billion.

…but he didn’t get my full quote in there. Here’s what I said to him in my email:

The governor knows that if he can get the guards mad enough, they will lobby their legislators for his tax increase. Would legislators listen to inmates complaining about their loss of 19 cents an hour? I don’t think so. But they will listen to prison guards showing up at their offices with sleeping bags and tin cups.