Pennsylvania’s broke. That’s what Governor Corbett and his surrogates have been saying for months. Last Wednesday he said this in response to a question about education funding, “So if I’m going to propose increasing money for education, who do we take it from?” he asked.
Last Sunday, the governor’s budget secretary, Charles Zogby was quoted as saying, “The governor’s philosophy going into the budget negotiations is we can spend no more than we have and we must budget and save for the future so that we’re not continually running structural deficits year after year,” Harley said.
And this morning Lt. Gov. Cawley said, “It might be a family with an autistic child, or a person struggling with addiction,” he said. “We need to be there for them. But that harsh reality is coupled with another harsh reality. And it is simply this: we can no longer spend money we don’t have.”
So I’m figuring that the governor must have won the lottery in order to be able to afford to give the Shell Oil Company, one of the richest corporations on earth, $67 million a year for 25 years for a grand total of $1.7 billion. $67 million a year - that’s more than this year’s proposed state funding for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Aging. It’s only about $10 million less than state funding for the Department of Health.
I know how the governor feels when he doesn’t have the money to spend on things. I’d really like to go to Wales to visit the village my mother’s ancestors came from, but I just can’t – I don’t have the money. I’d really like a new granite countertop, a new cooktop and a new sink with a garbage disposal. And my deck needs to be replaced. But I just can’t spend money I don’t have and I don’t want to load myself down with debt.
So I buy lottery tickets from time to time and entertain myself with fantasies of what I’d do with limitless resources. And in the meantime, I pay the mortgage – it’s an investment in my quality of life and an asset for my future old age.
The governor said that he wants to make sure that shiny new cracker plant gets built in Pennsylvania and creates 20,000 jobs. At $1.7 billion, he wants to give Shell $85,000 per job to come here.
The governor has already decided to cut back investments in education which enhances the quality of our society and ensures an educated workforce for the future. So he must have won the lottery or something that has given him the unlimited resources to splurge on a cracker plant.
Powerball is at $177 million. Think I’ll buy a ticket.