Pennsylvania spends $10 billion a year on welfare benefits for its residents and perhaps 150,000 illegal aliens. "Don't ask, don't tell" appears to be the policy for determining eligibility for welfare payments in the Keystone State.
Since first taking office in 2003, Gov. Ed Rendell had added 360,000 more Pennsylvanians to the welfare rolls – raising the welfare budget to by $4 billion.
By cutting welfare programs by just 10 percent, the state could save $1 billion a year. That money could be put to other uses, such as repairing the state's deteriorating bridges.
That plan is being floated by state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican from western Pennsylvania. It's a lot easier than leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a foreign company for the next 75 years or tolling Interstate 80, two proposals Gov. Rendell has backed to find enough money to repair the state's bridges and highways.
Metcalf criticized the Rendell administration for not doing enough to rein in the Department of Public Welfare's spending, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"We are here to present our drunk-with-power, spend-a-holic governor with a legitimate zero-growth budgetary solution that does not involve excessive spending, increased debt, higher taxes, or recklessly ... leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a foreign entity," Metcalfe said, according to reporter Tom Barnes, who covered Tuesday's press conference.
Read the full story at the Post-Gazette Web site here.
And as long as we're talking about finding better use for tax dollars, the folks at POLICY BLOG are wondering why Gov. Rendell insists on giving away millions in tax breaks to Hollywood moguls to make really bad films.
Read "Tax credits and stupid Hollywood movies" at POLICY BLOG.