Follow The Money Trail – Pennsylvania Beats Nevada For Gambling Tax Profits

According to research compiled by the Morning Call in Allentown; Pennsylvania wins first prize in the amount of revenue collected from gambling taxes. 

Okay, that’s Jim Dandy….what did we do with the $1.1 BILLION dollars collected from our 9 casinos in 2009?  Did we make origami? 

This money was supposed to help with property tax relief and a host of other things.  Instead, we pretend we have $850,000,000.00 from the federal government in our 2010/2011 budget and our state unemployment compensation fund is bankrupt.

What the hell?  Am I missing something here?  That’s a HUGE chunk of money.  What did we spend it on?  Root beer floats and pork projects?

Inquiring minds would like to know!

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Fund Is Belly-Up!

I am just a harbinger of good cheer today, aren’t I!  People need to know what the Sam Hill is going on with our state government.

Although Pennsylvania actually has an employer contribution for unemployment benefits, which should have been enough for a rainy day, we have still borrowed $3 billion dollars from the Federal government to pay unemployment benefits to out-of-work Pennsylvania residents.  The states pay the first 26 weeks of unemployment and the federal government picks up from week 27 forward. Oh and that $3 billion dollars was borrowed in the last two years!

Two problems with what should have been a great idea (employer unemployment contributions): 

1.  The amount employers pay into the unemployment fund hasn’t changed since dirt was discovered.

2.  Unemployment benefits have been increasing to make up for inflation.

When our new governator is elected and takes office in January, he or she will have this $3 BILLION dollar bill that will be due to the federal government.  Of course, we have no money to pay this bill….I’ll gladly pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today… And this is rich… these billions of dollars borrowed from Uncle Sam aren’t built into the state budget either…much like the Medicaid money we are spending but don’t have yet.  STOP THE MADNESS!

The federal government will start to charge a penalty fee to businesses in Pennsylvania since we have no money.

A solution was proposed to help make this fund solvent again by 2017 but it was ignored.  Instead, our elected officials stick their heads in the proverbial sand (like an ostrich) and do nothing.

Food for thought!

Pennsylvania State Worker Layoffs Still Looming On The Horizon

Looks like no state layoffs this week according to our illustrious governor Ed Rendell.  Governor Rendell had targeted 700 jobs to be furloughed last week but that number may be less due to attrition.  What a difference a week makes?

Why are layoffs looming on the horizon (you might ask yourself) after we approved a state budget on time, no less. It seems we counted some chickens yet to be hatched to the tune of $850,000,000.00 dollars.  Opps!  We bad.  We included this amount in the state budget for Medicaid assistance even though Congress has not approved the money at this juncture.

Don’t be surprised if this money is not forthcoming and then watch the ants scramble.

It’s time for a leadership change!