Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
3915 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2009
Harrisburg, PA – The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) today praised the work of the Commonwealth Foundation and endorsed their call for Ed Rendell and the state legislature to adopt the $5 billion in spending cuts
identified in their report released last week "Government on a Diet:
Spending Tips 2009."
Ed Rendell has increased spending over 35% since taking office in
January 2003. Due to the administration’s spending habits, Pennsylvania
ranks as the 11th worst state in state and local tax burden.
Pennsylvania ranks 40th in job growth and 40th in personal income among
the 50 states.
To make matters worse, according to the Governor’s website
http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?, we are facing a
potential $2.3 billion shortfall for 2008-2009 for which the Governor is
hoping for a $1 billion federal bailout to address.
"Harrisburg cannot spend its way to prosperity for Pennsylvania," stated
LPPa Media Relations Chair, Doug Leard. "The Governor and the Assembly
should take a serious look at adopting the well thought out
recommendations of the Commonwealth Foundation."
In the report, the Commonwealth Foundation identifies three categories
of savings. First, the report identifies over $1.7 billion in potential
savings in corporate welfare. Examples include sports stadium financing,
subsidizing Hollywood, bailing out Boscov and using tax funds to build
an airport (which cargo carriers have expressed no interest in using and
in which key players are facing criminal accusations).
Second, the report identifies over $2.5 billion in savings by
eliminating government-provided goods that compete directly with private
enterprises. For example, in almost all states, the distribution and
sale of liquor has been turned over to the private sector. As another
example, other states have received a far better return on taxpayer
dollars by leasing their turnpike to a private operator. The PA Turnpike
Commission has become a haven of political patronage and nepotism. The
PTC increased tolls 25% in January and is racking up massive amounts of
Finally, the report identified almost $700 million in savings by
eliminating expenses that work to the detriment of citizens, for the
benefit of government officials or reward the misuse of tax dollars. For
example, legislative bodies have racked up millions of dollars in legal
fees protecting those involved in Bonusgate (which involved misspent
millions of taxpayer dollars). Another example involves Governor
Rendell hiring his former law form for a $1.8 million no-bid contract to
work on the failed Turnpike lease despite hundreds of attorneys already
being employed by the state.
Michael Robertson, LPPa State Chair, commented "Unless the spending by
the commonwealth can be brought under control, the business climate and
ultimately the quality of life in Pennsylvania will deteriorate. The
General Assembly and the Governor should learn the lessons from
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that bigger is not better when it comes to
sound fiscal policy."
The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in
Pennsylvania and the United States. More than 200,000 people across the
country are registered Libertarians, and Libertarians serve in hundreds
of elected offices. Please visit www.LP.org
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