Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sell Philadelphia

There's been a lot of talk lately by Gov. Ed Rendell about selling or leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Several state Senators have suggested selling the state liquor store monopoly. There's even been talk of turning the lottery over to private interests, which has happened in other states.

The goal behind all these proposals is to find a fast infusion of cash to feed the ravenous spending habits of Pennsylvania politicians without resorting to the old standby of tax increases.

But we may have overlooked the obvious. There's a sure-fire way to get rid of most of the state's problems in one quick move.

Sell Philadelphia.

The entire city. Just get rid of it. Put it on e-Bay. Put up some billboards. Whatever it takes. Sell it to the highest bidder.

Maybe New Jersey or Delaware need to grow a little. Or maybe Donald Trump wants his own city. Trumpadlephia anyone?

The purchase price isn't important. No reasonable offer will be refused. It's the added benefits of getting rid of the state's biggest basket case that makes this a good deal.

Wwe eliminate the need to pour billions of dollars into the city's failing school system.

We can stop pouring billions into SEPTA, the city's mismanaged and inefficient transit system.

We don't have to build any more stadiums for millionaire owners of the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers or Flyers. All the teams stink, anyway.

Selling Philadelphia makes Pennsylvania a safer place. We no longer have to live with the stigma of having the most dangerous city in America as part of the Keystone State. We don't have to worry about hiring 10,000 more cops or imposing gun control on the rest of the state because guns are so easy to come by in Philadelphia.

Selling Philadelphia also allows us to cut loose about two dozen members of the Pennsylvania Legislature, thus cutting the size of the Legislature overnight.

This would save tens of millions of dollars and we'd be rid of people like John Perzel, Vince Fumo, Dwight Evans and Dennis O'Brien. Believe me, the state would be better off without these Philadelphia politicians.

And best of all, Pennsylvania would never have the likes of Ed Rendell as governor again.

Rendell wouldn't have to pretend he cares about anything outside the Philadelphia city limits anymore. We already know he's "governor of Philadelphia." That's who elected him. We could end the charade and he could concentrate on his beloved city and leave the rest of us alone.

I don't see a downside to selling Philadelphia. Let the bidding begin.