The Lebanon Daily News has a letter to the editor, which, quite frankly, makes way too much sense.
I spend a lot of my time griping about the federal government.
This isn't just because I disagree with the current federal position (which I do), but also because my sister, who is mar ried to an Irishman, is currently dealing with the same situation that we will soon be facing here in America.
The Irish government is broke. No money. It must cut the budget. The United States (as well as the common wealth of Pennsylvania) has already reached this point, even if they haven't realized it yet. Ireland is currently cut ting its entire budget by 20 percent. These are real cuts, not the games that are played here when a "cut" means a "reduction in increased benefits." Real cuts.
It is time for state and federal bud gets to be cut here. The Pennsylvania budget has increased 75 percent in the past eight years. It's gone from $18 bil lion to all but $29 billion in that time!
At this point the reason real cuts are needed is because the state governmen thas grown too fast. If you base growth on inflation for the past eight years, the budget should have grown maybe $2 bil lion.
Gov. Ed Rendell is a criminal for allowing this increase, and so is any member of the state House and Senate who voted to approve these budgetary increases. Rendell has one budget left to propose in 2010, and if it includes any spending increases he should be crucified on the backs of any members of the state House or Senate who approve any such budget.
This is not a popular position to take in Pennsylvania politics, but one can't deny the facts. The state is broke and can't afford more. Rendell is already playing games to get gambling table games passed. I don't primarily oppose table games, but a last-minute deal is not the time to discuss this issue.
Regardless of what the state is saying at this point, the only income the state has is your taxes. The same goes for the federal government. When you hear from your local government that the state will pay for it, it's your taxes paying for that project. It can be justified that overall you win, but in the long run you lose. This has been true for the past 200 years.
JASON F. KERN
So, the question remains; how do you effectively downsize Pennsylvania's government?
It's either a constitutional convention or the legislators voluntarily vote themselves out of office.
For some reason, I don't see either of those scenarios happening.
Back to the drawing board...