Saturday, July 26, 2008

Columnist: Rendell budget is a shell game

Mary Young of the Reading Eagle has been reading over Gov. Rendell's 2008-09 General Fund Budget and has come to the conclusion that state spending is a shell game.

"I think this year's budget is an increase of about $1 billion, or 3.7 percent, over last year," Young writes. "I can't be sure because my budget book from last year didn't come with an interpreter."

Young later concludes that the state budget is a moving target. In other words, nobody is really sure how much the state spends each year.

"Whether you look at it as a $1 billion increase or $3 billion in new spending, there has to be a whole lot of shuffling going on to cover it, especially now that legislators have said they won't support Rendell's plan to lease the turnpike," Young writes.

One of the ways Rendell gets away with spending more than what the Legislature approved is by utilizing a system where Rendell forces counties to spend money with the promise of state reimbursement down the road.

Read her full column, "It's big! It's dense! It's a shell game!" at the newspaper's Web site.

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