Monday, December 22, 2014

PA/Jersey fiscal flaws

A new study of states shows PA and Jersey not enjoying the best fiscal recoveries.

PA/Jersey fiscal flaws

Governors Corbett and Christie, each of whom have their share of challenges these day,cannot be heartened by a new study of states' fiscal conditions just released by George Mason University.

The study uses multiple measures to rank states. It cites problems ranging from rising health-care costs to crushing pension debts, cash flow and infrastructure maintenance.

In the overall category "fiscal condition," Pennsylvania is ranked 42nd and New Jersey is ranked 50th.

You can read about the rankings here.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports on the study and quotes Corbett press secretary Jay Pagni saying it underscores the need for pension reform, an issue the governor has been pushing -- so far without success.

It also quotes Democratic state chairman Jim Burn, not surprisingly, castagating Corbett for an "inability to lead...(and) concentrating on giving handouts to big business, wasting taxpayer money on ill-conceived privatization efforts, and refusing to accept federal money to expand Medicaid."

Investor's Business Daily reported New Jersey's last-place ranking but did not include any response from Christie's office. One assumes the office is busy responding to questions on other issues.

About the only "good" news here is the report is based on fiscal 2012. Corbett, who took office in 2011, can say, hey, I was only starting to turn the state economy around. And Christie, who took office in 2010, can say "mistakes were made."

Oh, and Republicans (outside Pennsylvania and New Jersey) can tout study findings that all but one of the top 10 fiscally sound states are run by GOP governors.

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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