True Cost of Wolf’s Budget: Nearly $14,000 Per Worker

True Cost of Wolf’s Budget:
Nearly $14,000 Per Worker

Total Operating Budget to Reach $80 Billion for First Time

February 11, 2016, Harrisburg, Pa.—Did you know the state budget’s true cost is more than double Gov. Wolf’s proposed $33.3 billion budget? For the first time, Pennsylvania’s total operating budget—the true cost of state government—could reach an incredible $80 billion if Wolf’s plan is enacted. This is a whopping $8.6 billion more than in 2014-15.

The burden on Pennsylvanians would be a staggering $13,672 per worker.

“Too often, elected officials avoid revealing the true cost of state government,” commented Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. “Just like hidden charges in your cable bill jack up the real price over what’s advertised, the real cost of state government is far more than what we’re hearing. It may mean sticker shock, but taxpayers should know the bill they’re footing is far larger than the General Fund budget.”

What is the Total Operating Budget?

The total operating budget includes the General Fund—$33.3 billion as proposed by Wolf—plus federal funds for state programs, “special” state funds (like the Motor License Fund and Lottery Fund), and more than 150 “other” state funds.

“Many of these programs are set on ‘auto-pilot’—with spending increasing every year without the need for new legislation,” Brouillette continued. “As a consequence, spending has ballooned.”

“Incredibly, the total operating budget has more than doubled since 2000, reaching a proposed $80 billion for the first time, with no fanfare,” continued Brouillette. “The true cost of state government should be shocking to taxpayers—especially as the governor demands more of their hard-earned cash to fuel his spending appetite.”

Matthew Brouillette and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment today. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.

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