Pennsylvania’s complex state budget has enabled policymakers to keep taxpayers in the dark when it comes to state spending. Year after year, some elected officials use budget gimmicks to both make the budget appear balanced and to secure their own agendas. Pennsylvanians deserve reforms that bring true transparency to the budgeting process. We must limit spending growth to a sustainable rate, ensuring the state government—like hardworking taxpayers—live within its means.

2024 state budget resources

State Budget

$13 Billion capital budget flies under radar

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 3, 2008

The $12.7 billion in borrowing for the state Capital Budget has become a hot topic on GrassrootsPA. Otherwise, it has merited a blurb in the Patriot News, and…

Media

Read More: $13 Billion capital budget flies under radar

State Budget

CAGW releases Congressional Pig Book

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 2, 2008

Citizens Against Government Waste released their annual Congressional Pig Book, highlighting $17.2 billion in pork projects (11,610 projects). Pennsylvania ranks 31st in pork per capita (though sixth in…

Media

Read More: CAGW releases Congressional Pig Book

State Budget

$100 Trillion Dollars in Debt!

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 27, 2008

John Goodman analyzes the latest report of unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities and come up with the grand total of $102 Trillion for the “infinite horizon” (after reducing…

Media

Read More: $100 Trillion Dollars in Debt!

State Budget

The “Ed McMahon” Syndrome

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 25, 2008

The Republican Herald discusses Rep. Tim Holden’s earmarks, which his challenger, Toni Gilhooley labels “Ed McMahon” syndrome because of his desire to hand out large cardboard checks (a phrase…

Media

Read More: The “Ed McMahon” Syndrome

State Budget

Pigfoot Evicted from Jack Murtha Fundraiser

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 14, 2008

Video of CAGW’s Pig being tossed from Congressman Jack Murtha’s fundraiser while trying to present him with the prestigious “Porker of the Year” award.

Media

Read More: Pigfoot Evicted from Jack Murtha Fundraiser

State Budget

Porkers win the day, again

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 14, 2008

A few days ago, I remarked that the DeMint-McCain earmark moratorium was likely to pass the Senate, as both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had signed on.

Media

Read More: Porkers win the day, again

State Budget

Video: Jim DeMint on Earmark Moratorium

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 12, 2008

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina gives a masterful speech on the need for earmark reform in Washington (the same could be applied to handouts in Harrisburg).

Media

Read More: Video: Jim DeMint on Earmark Moratorium

State Budget

Earmark abusers jump on earmark reform wagon

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 11, 2008

The Club for Growth notes that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have signed on to DeMint-McCain earmark moratorium. While this will likely force passage of the bill,…

Media

Read More: Earmark abusers jump on earmark reform wagon

Regulation

Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2008

  • Matthew Brouillette, Nathan Benefield
  • March 10, 2008

State government consumption and spending of taxpayer money has grown rapidly over the years. Since 1970, Pennsylvania’s operating budget increased from $4.2 billion to $59 billion in FY 2007-2008, an…

Report

Read More: Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2008

State Budget

Central PA Congressman and businesses giving up earmarks

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 10, 2008

Central Penn Business Journal on the Congressman Pitts and Platts joining those taking a moratorium on earmarks and the response of most business leaders – except the beneficiaries of…

Media

Read More: Central PA Congressman and businesses giving up earmarks

State Budget

Earmark Nation

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 7, 2008

Wall Street Journal on the political value of taking a hard line opposing earmarks, compared with the value of pork projects. Unorthodox as he’s been on some conservative…

Media

Read More: Earmark Nation

State Budget

Campbell on Earmark Moratorium

  • Nathan Benefield
  • March 5, 2008

Video of John Campbell on earmarks. I especially like him bringing up the “monuments to me” – i.e. earmarks by legislators for projects named after themselves – noting “I hope…

Media

Read More: Campbell on Earmark Moratorium

State Budget

PA Budget Historical Numbers

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 29, 2008

I’ve received a couple of requests for historics Pennsylvania state budget numbers, so I thought I’d post the data here. The figures represent actual final spending from 1970-2007, while…

Media

Read More: PA Budget Historical Numbers

State Budget

CAGW Names Rep. John Murtha Porker of the Year

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 20, 2008

Pennsylvania’s own Congresman John Murtha was named Porker of the Year by Citizens Against Government Waste: In fiscal year 2008, he brought home 72 pork projects worth $149.2…

Media

Read More: CAGW Names Rep. John Murtha Porker of the Year

State Budget

State’s economy, budget are at odds

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 18, 2008

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review question the Rendell administration’s glorious reviews of the state’s economy. The size of the state’s economy grew about 20 percent from 1997 to 2006, but…

Media

Read More: State’s economy, budget are at odds

State Budget

Borrowing in 2008-09 Budget

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 14, 2008

Below is some more analysis of the proposed borrowing in Governor Rendell’s proposed budget – $2.6 billion in debt will be issued in 2008-09. (More on PA’s Total Debt…

Media

Read More: Borrowing in 2008-09 Budget

State Budget

New Borrowing + New Taxes = “Avoidance of Debt”

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 8, 2008

In the Post-Gazette, Governor Rendell continues to argue that his insurance tax is a tax: Mr. Rendell strongly denies that the surcharge is a new tax. Instead,…

Media

Read More: New Borrowing + New Taxes = “Avoidance of Debt”

State Budget

Scarnati to Push Spending Limits?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 4, 2008

The Patriot News profiles Senate Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and it looks like he will be putting the Taxpayer Protection Act as a top priority, and even suggests…

Media

Read More: Scarnati to Push Spending Limits?

State Budget

The Truth About Spending Limits

  • February 1, 2008

Pennsylvanians want limits placed on the annual increases in state government spending.  Despite the strong support of taxpayers, many special interest groups that profit from higher taxes and more government…

Fact Sheet

Read More: The Truth About Spending Limits

State Budget

Put Government on a Spending Diet

  • January 31, 2008

Commonwealth Foundation analysis finds $6.7 billion in “unhealthy“ state spending HARRISBURG, PA — Today, in anticipation of Governor Rendell’s 2008-09 budget proposal, the Commonwealth Foundation released Government on a Diet:…

Press Release

Read More: Put Government on a Spending Diet

State Budget

Bush on Earmarks

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 29, 2008

If his State of the Union Address, Bush promised to veto and/or ignore earmarks in future appropriatiosn legislation. As CAGW and Heritage point out, this would only…

Media

Read More: Bush on Earmarks