The Sun-Gazette has a recent article on the Pennsylvania state budget titled "Rendell lashes out at Senate plan". It didn't sound like something that would surprise me - but it did, because of the reasons Rendell is criticizing the Senate budget plan.
Just to recap, here are some of the basics of the Senate plan, and Rendell's budget, which he promises to cut by an additional $400 million. What does Rendell critique in the Senate budget?
1) He says it isn't balanced - "It's out of whack from $750 million to $1 billion" and needs either more revenue or more cuts. But here is the problem: Rendell proposes spending (after his new cuts) $1.3 billion more than the Senate, his proposed tax increases amount to less than $500 million. In other words, by Rendell's own math, his budget is out of whack by $1.55 to $1.8 billion.
2) He blasts privatizing the state liquor stores - this isn't part of the Senate budget, but has been touted as a possible revenue option. Rendell decries using one-time revenue sources, "You don't do stuff like that," he said. "Those are gimmicks."
One time revenue sources used in Gov. Rendell budget for this year and next:
- Federal Stimulus: $3.5 billion
- Rainy Day Fund: $625 million
- Health Care Provider Retention Account: $350 million
- Legislative Surplus: $175 million
- Marcellus Shale Lease Revenues: $174 million
- Prior Year Lapses (money unspent in 2007-08): $91 million