Gov. Corbett has been in office for just 10 weeks now and like many who inherit a financial mess, he likes to blame the man he replaced, former Gov. Ed Rendell. It's fair game: Rendell was the top guy in the state for eight years, while the deficit grew to troubling proportions. But Corbett this morning took what looks like a cheap shot -- $66,462 in savings! -- when you consider the state's proposed budget is $27.3 billion.
Corbett's staff emailed reporters to announce that the "defunct tour bus," formerly known as "Commonwealth One" when Rendell was governor, will be auctioned off. Corbett derided the 20-year-old bus as a "white elephant" that has cost the state $66,462 to maintain since 2003 while only being driven 25,937 miles. Corbett added that his state budget priorities do not "include maintaining a 41-foot motor coach that has largely sat in the garage."
To be fair, Commonwealth One did have a troubled start in state service in 2003. Rendell hoped to put it on Pennsylvania's highways and byways as he traveled around pitching his first budget, dubbed the "Plan for a New Pennsylvania." But the bus was late on arrival and rumors swirled in Harrisburg that it had already broken down.
Rendell's staff insisted the problem was in paperwork -- who would own the bus, who would maintain it and who would insure it? The bus was finally added to the state fleet. Then it became clear the bus, which had been donated to the state, had real mechanical problems.
Now we wave goodbye to Commonwealth One. And Corbett has found a way to fill in .00166 percent of the state's $4 billion budget.