Rendell Budget Treats Symptoms, Ignores Disease

HARRISBURG, PA (02.09.10)Commonwealth Foundation president and CEO Matthew J. Brouillette released the following statement in response to Gov. Ed Rendell’s FY 2010-11 State Budget Proposal:

“We applaud the Governor for recognizing that Pennsylvania is at the edge of a financial cliff, which is the scenario we warned of a year ago when he and the General Assembly failed to make the systemic reforms necessary to avert it. 

It is deeply unfortunate for Pennsylvania’s hardworking families and seniors on fixed incomes, however, that Governor Rendell’s newest budget proposal extracts still more money from taxpayers. He continues to treat the symptoms of government inefficiency and overspending while ignoring the disease.

Rather than calling for long-overdue reforms of the public pension system, Medicaid, welfare,  and corrections, Gov. Rendell is content to let these programs continue wasting money and serving as an ever-growing burden on those footing the bill. 

Since Gov. Rendell took office in 2003, Pennsylvania’s burden of state and local taxes has increased from the 17th heaviest in the nation to the 11th.  State spending has increased by $3600 per family of four (in inflation-adjusted dollars).  State debt has increased  by $18 billion to a whopping $41 billion-a 78 percent increase-or $5600 per family of four.

It’s high time to make overdue reforms to weighty state programs and craft a state budget with the taxpayers’ prosperity in mind, rather than feeding state government’s insatiable appetite for spending.” 

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NOTE: The Commonwealth Foundation is hosting a conference call on Gov. Rendell’s budget proposal at 7:30 PM tonight. The dial-in number is (218) 339-2500 and the access code 1011726.

To view materials related to the discussion, visit

The Commonwealth Foundation ( is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.