Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Passes the Buck on State Budget

Originally published on RealClear Policy and The Philadelphia Inquirer

  • With a $3 billion shortage to make up in the Pennsylvania budget, lawmakers made only a halfhearted effort toward financial solvency, opting instead to rely on questionable federal aid.
  • Federal CARES Act money was intended for besieged restaurants and other business owners who suffered far more than government bureaucracies.
  • Instead of backfilling the budget with federal CARES Act funds, Gov. Wolf and lawmakers should have considered small business owners in Pennsylvania communities.

With all the pandemic-related economic disruptions of 2020, many Americans are relying on the federal government — particularly stimulus checks and SBA loans — to offer financial relief. Unfortunately, state governments have adopted the same approach, relying on federal borrowing — and massively increased deficit spending — to fund their expenditures.

This year’s widespread business closures and unemployment have resulted in state tax revenue shortages, despite the CARES Act funding they received. While CARES Act funds were intended to deal with direct COVID-related costs, many states are simply looking for a “free” way to fund their own excessive spending. Some states are even lobbying for more federal taxpayer aid.

Earlier this year…

Read more at RealClear Policy.