Rendell’s Last Round of Pork

Governor Rendell recently released his 2010 commitment list for RACP funds (subscription). The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP, is a taxpayer-funded state borrowing program for “economic development,” i.e. corporate welfare. As the commitment list shows, RACP became a slush fund for Governor Rendell and his politically connected friends.

Not surprisingly, the City of Brotherly Love topped the recipient list, with 43% of the $408 million going to projects in Philadelphia. Comparatively, only $39 million went to projects near Pittsburgh and $36 million went to Philadelphia’s four suburban counties.

Also high on the funding list of recipients were Gov. Rendell’s political allies, John Murtha and Arlen Specter; the Murtha Center and Specter Library combined received almost $12 million. Gov. Rendell also committed $30 million to the American Revolution Center in Philadelphia.

Unfortunately RACP, like all economic development schemes, only redistributes jobs and wealth for projects that most likely would have happened anyway, like the new Penguins Stadium, or for businesses that will continue to fail, like TastyKake. Instead of more handouts, maybe Gov. Rendell should have done the responsible thing and resisted the urge to pile on the debt, leaving office with a projected General Fund deficit of $5 billion.

Below is a detailed list of the recipients, courtesy Capitolwire.

Rendell RACP 2010