In a somewhat welcome surprise, both candidates for governor (Onorato and Corbett) criticized Rendell’s RCAP projects in the budget amounting to some $300 million dollars. The political legacy projects are the now famous Specter Library and Murtha Policy Center.
Dan Onorato criticized the lack of transparency, stating that all grant recipients should have been disclosed before voting. What a novel idea! He also emphasized that as governor he would review similar projects to see if benefits and jobs could, “be accomplished by the private sector without the use of scarce government funds”(subscription). Now if only we could convince lawmakers to bring some transparency to the budget!
The fact is corporate welfare never results in more jobs or economic opportunity–actually, last year we spent $750 million on economic development (second only to Ohio), yet we continue to lag in economic growth.
On the Republican side, Tom Corbett released a statement saying, “We have a budget deficit for this year, the last thing we should be doing is borrowing more money to fund projects.” He also criticized the cost of raising the state’s debt ceiling by $600 million–adding $48 million in future debt service payments.
Kudos to the candidates for questioning RCAP spending (a slush fund for the Governor and the Legislature). This program is one of the best examples of wasteful spending with no accountability on either side while taxpayers are left holding the bill.