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Friday, October 17, 2008

State budget must be cut

The Citizens' Voice has an editorial calling for state budget cuts giving the current crunch in the Pennsylvania state budget. Meanwhile, Gib Armstrong and other lawmakers continue to note, "we are in a real pickle" and facing a huge budget deficit.

Governor Rendell remains optimistic, recently stating (according to Capitolwire) that his measures could save $300 million (rather than $200 million) and that the state will get an extra $100 million by more aggressively pursuing delinquent filers. He also commented that budget cuts aren't the solution, we "have to grow out of the crisis" - unfortunately, Governor Rendell thinks more government spending, as well as higher taxes, will help us grow, rather than listen closely to free market icons like Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy.

We have updated our look at previous budget shortfalls to include 1990-91. Here are the key numbers:

Fiscal Year Shortfall as of Sept. (millions) End of Year Tax Increase
1990-91 -$47.20 $2.85 B
2001-02 -$133.70 $600 M
2002-03 -$89.10 $1.5 B
2008-09 -$281.50 ???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Working as an accountant in the Office of the Budget, I can tell you the situation is far worse than Mr. Rendell is admitting, and his solutions (particularly the hiring freeze) are jokes.

What's not reflected in the budget numbers is how much has been "saved" through "deferred maintenance". For example, although the Commonwealth is still using Microsoft Office XP (2002), its two versions behind the rest of the World. Office 2003 & 2007 have been released and Office 2009/2010 is being readied. The plan is to deploy 2007, not the new version.

As for the hiring freeze, its mostly nonsense. The degrading benefits, generally lower salaries and obselete testing & selection had most departments under "complement" for a couple of years. All the "hiring freeze" has done is made it harder to obtain an adequate candidate pool for openings.

When Rendell leaves office, there is going to be an awful mess for his successor to clean up. I suspect that's why his former Budget Secretary, Mr. Masch left early-to put distance between himself and Eddie's mess.