Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed spending plan is the best-kept secret in Pennsylvania. Outside of his inner circle he has shared scant bloody details and only recently at that with a select few at a country club.
He has to back his promise of no new taxes, which is what catapulted him into the governor’s mansion. Parks, environment, education, state workers, and non-profits of every flavor are bracing for impact. Potential cuts could fill this whole page, and back-room parlor talk is, it adds up to $1 billion, $1.5 billion, perhaps someone with an extra dose of moxie has thrown out $2 billion.
Barry Kaufman, executive director of Common Cause in Pennsylvania, is as curious as anyone to see what is coming out with Tuesday’s wash. “Hopefully, these will be rational decisions. They will not be decisions necessarily based on flimsy campaign promises. Now that the administration has been in office for a couple of months and has seen the books and knows what the problems are, realizes what essential services are in jeopardy, and will make smart decisions for the commonwealth.”
Democracy Rising’s Tim Potts hears about all the numbers being thrown about in careless abeyance of common sense.”If there are across-the-board cuts, it is a dereliction of duty. Any idiot can make across-the-board cuts. We don’t elect a governor to be an idiot. We elect a governor to exercise judgment, and that means making cuts where they are needed, not where the money should continue to flow. For example, you could cut 20% out of the legislature’s budget, and they still would have more money than they need. You can’t cut 2% out of some without real people suffering.”
For all the talk, Kaufman is equally annoyed at what is not being discussed. “There are other serious issues out there for revenue enhancement. Lets not forget there is a massive, very wealthy industry out there in Pennsylvania called the Marcellus Shale, and gas driller who even they have acknowledged are ready, willing, and be to be taxed, and that seems to be off the table.”
(Governor Corbett unveils his budget on Tuesday and Rock The Capital will sort it out.)
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