Pennsylvania risks ‘worst fiscal crisis’


State spending increased at nearly twice the rate of inflation since 2003 when Gov. Ed Rendell took office, and the state’s financial situation could worsen dramatically next year, Auditor General Jack Wagner said Wednesday.

The state budget grew about 33 percent, from $21 billion to $28 billion, during Rendell’s tenure as the Consumer Price Index rose about 18 percent, Wagner said.

As a result, the Legislature and the next governor “face the worst fiscal crisis in our history” when they craft a 2011-12 budget next year — one that could have a deficit of as much as $5 billion, said Wagner, a Democrat like Rendell…

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Updated: September 30, 2010 — 12:16 pm


  1. This article, from the Republican leaning Tribune-Review, places part of the blame where it belongs, on the Rendell administration. But it fails to address the fact that the Republicans have controlled the Senate the entire time Rendell has been in office.

    No one forced them the Senate, under Juberlier and now Scarnati, to acquiese to this massive budget and deficit growth. They had every opportunity to stand up and stop the insanity.

    But they didn’t. In addtion to the unconscionable growth in spending and the deficit, the Republicans and Democrats together, starting around 2001, began a pension “holiday” and failed to properly fund the pensions of state employees and teachers as required by the law.

    Because of this, as Pennsylvania property owners and taxpayers, we are now facing a calamity the extent of which is not actually known.

    Shame on all of them.

  2. How much of this went toward education?

    (I won’t even mention the DCED; it’s obvious that department is out of control, making obligations that won’t be paid off for decades.)

    If Pennsylvania were to have a Republican legislature (at least one branch) and a Republican governor, it is practically guaranteed that funding for local schools and libraries will be slashed – ESPECIALLY if business taxes were to be cut as promised. As a result, expect substantial layoffs at both, along with sizable real estate tax increases.

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