CF Report Finds $5 Billion in Government Waste

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

NEWS RELEASE from the Commonwealth Foundation

CF Report Finds $5 billion in Gov’t Waste
State gov’t overspending is impeding prosperity and burdening taxpayers

HARRISBURG, PA — The Commonwealth Foundation today released Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2009, a report that spotlights how the General Assembly and Gov. Ed Rendell can eliminate $5 billion in unhealthy state government spending that is impeding prosperity and burdening taxpayers.

"There are billions of dollars in wasteful spending that must be cut immediately in order to restore Pennsylvania’s fiscal and economic health," said Matthew J. Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. "We can reduce state spending without jeopardizing our most vulnerable citizens. We want the citizens of Pennsylvania to be more aware of how state government is misspending their hard-earned tax dollars, and we hope lawmakers use this report as a guide for ending the economically destructive tax-borrow-and-spend approach."

The report, co-authored by Nathan Benefield and Elizabeth Bryan, identifies wasteful spending on non-core state government functions, including: corporate welfare, "Yellow Pages government" and self-service government. Examples include:

1. $75 million in tax credits for Hollywood executives to produce films, including $5.7 million in credits for the raunchy comedy "Zach & Miri Make a Porno."

2. $225,000 for a parade in Philadelphia.

3. $200,000 to restore golf courses.

Spending Reductions in FY 2008-09 Revised State Budget

Thousands of Dollars)
Category General Fund Other Funds Off Budget Total Operating and Off-Budget Spending
Corporate Welfare $649,431,000 $65,086,000 $990,000,000 $1,704,517,000
Yellow Pages Government $540,604,000 $1,576,065,000 $418,970,000 $2,535,639,000
Self-Service Government $223,707,000 $472,644,000 $696,351,000
Total $1,413,742,000 $2,113,795,000 $1,408,970,000 $4,936,507,000

EDITOR’S NOTE: The full report, Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2009, is available online at and by calling 717.671.1901.
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The Commonwealth Foundation ( is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.

CONTACT: Matthew J. Brouillette or Joe Sterns at 717.671.1901

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