When prompted on why Pennsylvania is now the only state in the nation without a budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, Governor Rendell was quick to pass the blame to the General Assembly, citing “ideology, partisanship, and laziness” as the cause of a budget stalemate that has lasted 66 days.
Interestingly enough, the governor seems to be simply describing his own shortcomings in facilitating a timely and fiscally responsible budget for the past 7 years in a row. Let me give a brief recap of the Governor’s own “ideology, partisanship, and laziness”:
- The House and Senate passed not one, but two budget bills – one (HB 1416) lies in conference committee, the other (SB 850), Rendell used the line item veto to striking funding for many programs–including those for which there was no disagreement.
- When “Blue Dog” Democrats tried to appease Rendell by creating a “compromise” budget that added in $150 million in education spending without raising taxes, he threatened to veto the bill if it ever reached his desk, derailing the potential compromise on the budget.
- Rendell waited until mid-June to propose a $1.5 billion personal income tax increase, insisted his tax proposal was alive after being declared dead, first by Republicans and the media, then by his own party.
After all this political posturing, Rendell now has the audacity to call the Legislature lazy, but thinks folks should buy statues of him? The only piece of advice I can give Fast Eddie is don’t throw stones when you’re living in a glass house.
For more on the budget impasse, check out Lowman Henry’s commentary “Just Do It” on PA Townhall.