Friday, August 28, 2015

Now that we think of it, Rendell could probably be nicknamed "Bubba," too


What do you call a politician who threatens to close down the Recreation Department? What about one who says he'd fire 800 state troopers if he's forced to make drastic cuts?

Bill Clinton.

Clinton threatened to close the Washington Monument during his budget battles in the early '90s, and John Baer argues today that Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell took a page out of his book in their recent budget negotiations: Threaten to shut down essential governmental services if you don't get what you want. "Predict the worst then save the day."

The problem with budget battles like the one we faced is that, on a certain level, they're disingenuous -- as we pointed out, the mayor never came out with a real plan to run the city under "Plan C.”

Instead of perpetuating an endless cycle of crises, Baer wonders, wouldn't it be nice if some rogue pol tried to cut things near and dear to politicians' hearts, like funds for private lobbyists or cash to support the largest legislative staff in America? Or maybe a politician could threaten to close state liquor stores, or shut down the lottery.

No word yet on who'd be prepared to sponsor that bill next time around.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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