Pennsylvania Baseline Budgeting Must End

Pennsylvania Baseline Budgeting Must End

By Leo Knepper Pennsylvania Baseline Budgeting Must End

Some Pennsylvania legislators are proposing revolutionary changes to the state budget process.

And, by revolutionary we mean doing something that the private sector has been doing for decades.

On Tuesday, the “Taxpayers Caucus” released a report highlighting over $3 billion dollars in potential savings this year. Many of the items have been discussed separately in the past, but this is the first time anyone has compiled them in one place. In reviewing the report, there were items related to the budget process that stood out in terms the scope of the changes proposed.

The most interesting thing was the proposal to modify the budget process completely. Although this change did not have a dollar amount attached to it, following the report’s recommendations could save taxpayers billions over the medium term. Specifically, the report called for Pennsylvania to shift from “baseline budgeting” to a hybrid budget process comprised of performance-based budgeting and priority-based budgeting. Discussions about budgeting processes are usually enough to make one’s eyes glaze over, but switching to a hybrid budgeting process would represent a radical shift in how the Commonwealth spends your money.

Baseline budgeting is a simple (and terrible) way to allocate resources. What it means is that an agency or department looks at what their budget was this year and assumes that they will get a certain percentage more next year. Baseline budgeting means that spending will essentially never decrease. Furthermore, it is how agencies can claim that their funding got cut even though they got more money year over year.

Let’s say Agency X received $1 million last year. Their assumption is that they will get 5 percent more this year, or $1.05 million. Instead, the legislature increases Agency X’s budget by “only” 3 percent, to $1.03 million. Under baseline budgeting Agency X would now state that their funding was “cut”, but in reality, they just got a smaller increase.

In contrast, performance- and priority-based hybrid system eliminates the assumption that Agency X will automatically get more money, and more importantly it raises the possibility that the funding might go away entirely if the programs it administers aren’t performing as well as alternatives or if the priorities of the Commonwealth change. Most programs run by the state and federal government do not have a clear objective, or if they do there is very little information available on what progress is being made to achieve that goal. Economic Development, i.e. corporate welfare, and social welfare programs are notoriously bad at setting objectives and measuring performance. A real world example would be for a business to invest in all new servers to reduce downtime, but never measuring the downtime to see if it worked.

Priority-based budgeting is what CAP called for during the last few budget cycles. It is similar to how families budget. They know their income and make financial decisions based on the amount of money they have, which is a stark contrast to how government typically operates. The government generally decides how much to spend and then tries to figure out where to get the necessary money.

The changes proposed by the Taxpayer Caucus would drastically alter the culture of government from one of entitlement to one of results. The budgeting process is not particularly exciting and does not make good headlines. However, the basic assumptions underlying the allocation of resources affects Pennsylvanians in a profound way, and it is worth examining carefully.

Mr. Knepper is executive director of Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Baseline Budgeting Must End

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-26-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-26-16

Ymtxj ymfy bts’y gj htzsxjqji hfs’y gj mjquji.
Gjsofrns Kwfspqns

Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. Frederick Douglass Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
Frederick Douglass

 

Read Phil Heron at the Delaware County Daily Times

William Lawrence Sr Omnibit 5-25-16

Obaysch the Hippopotamus arrived at the London Zoo on May 25, 1850. He was the first zoo hippo in modern history. He attracted 10,000 daily visitors and inspired the Hippopotamus Polka, which was a hit back then.

Here is what it sounds like:

Hippopotamus PolkaWilliam Lawrence Sr Omnibit 5-25-16 Hippopotamus Polka

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-25-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-25-16

Jmrh syx nywx alex erc tistpi ampp uymixpc wyfqmx xs erh csy lezi xli ibegx qiewyvi sj xli mrnywxmgi erh avsrk almgl ampp fi mqtswih sr xliq.
Jvihivmgo Hsykpeww

Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. Leonard CohenSing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

 

Check out Jeff Salvino’s The Daily Salvo on WFYL 1180 AM

Regulation Tyranny

Regulation Tyranny

By Scott Wagner Regulation Tyranny

This column is from a fed up and angry private sector business owner who also serves in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

I will be diplomatic – but fully realize that I get to see firsthand each and every day how Harrisburg and Washington are out of control with regulations on businesses.

It also seems like federal regulations coming out of Washington are being fired from a rocket launcher every single day.

I made a decision to run for the Pennsylvania State Senate because I was sick and tired of new regulations being piled onto my businesses every year for the last 30 years.

2015 was a record setting year for new regulations – as of Dec. 31, 2015 there were 81,611 pages of federal government rules, proposed rules and notices – this number DOES NOT include regulations in Pennsylvania.

At my waste company we have a MINIMUM of 60 State and Federal compliance requirements and regulations that we have to comply with either daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

In fact, last year my waste company hired a compliance manager to handle all of the reporting and paperwork.

On May 3, the Wall St. Journal published “Ending America’s Slow Growth Tailspin”.  The article says that, “The U.S Economy needs a dramatic legal and regulatory simplification” – in simple terms, over regulation is choking our economy and slowing economic growth.

In the May 10 issue of Forbes magazine Steve Forbes wrote an article that stated, “The Obama administration has let it be known that the White House and the regulatory agencies will be issuing a blizzard of new rules and decrees in the waning months of his miserable regime.”

Forbes goes on to say that, “The President long ago grasped that you don’t have to seize the means of production: you simply smother companies and industries with rules and regulations – preferably vaguely written to give bureaucrats wide discretion – so they survive only at your sufferance.”

Steve Forbes’s words are powerful and very true – as a private sector business owner I know first-hand all about choking regulations.

Last week I was informed by a manager at my waste company that our website must comply with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Regulations.

Our  website will need to be accessible to anyone with a disability (that includes people who are blind or deaf). Blind people use equipment called “screen readers” and the screen readers need to be able to work with our website software.

There have already been multiple lawsuits against companies who do not have websites that are ADA compliant.

Career politicians and career bureaucrats, many who are lawyers, simply don’t get it – all they understand is –  “Let’s choke every business in America – they can deal with all of the regulations.”

The newest and latest genius idea out of Washington DC is the third bathroom requirement for transgender people – it is all over the news.

Also, Washington is enacting regulations on overtime pay for salaried employees – many businesses factor in some portion of overtime into salaries and also bonuses are paid to recognize outstanding performance and efforts.

There are four types of regulations – Good Regulations, Bad Regulations,  Stupid Regulations and Over Regulations.

These are all regulations that effect a company that you may own or a company you may work for.

I think everyone would agree that good regulations are needed. The other three are not needed.

If we don’t stop all of this regulation madness – private sector businesses will have seen their best days.

The irony of all of the regulations impacting businesses in America is that virtually all of the people who are behind these regulations have never owned a business, started a business, taken a risk, or signed the front of paychecks.

The King of destroying businesses in America is Barack Obama – he is on a mission and he will not stop at anything.

The best example is what President Obama and regulators have done to the coal industry in America.

It is simple – too many regulations cost lots of money – lots of money that could and should go to creating jobs and providing good wages to current employees.

Businesses are being choked with rules and regulations – when are politicians and bureaucrats going to wake up and realize that they are killing jobs in America?

Regulation Tyranny

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-24-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-24-16

Wkhuh lv d fudfn lq hyhubwklqj. Wkdw’v krz wkh oljkw jhwv lq.
Ohrqdug Frkhq

Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us. Leo TolstoySing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.
Leo Tolstoy

 

Read Phil Heron at the Delaware County Daily Times

Slavery Goal Of Modern Politicians

Slavery Goal Of Modern Politicians Slavery Goal Of Modern Politicians — Richard Fernandez has a great column at PJMedia.com summing up modern politics and the goals of those who dedicate their lives to it namely slavery.

He describes an happy marriage of convenience between socialists and crony capitalists.

Those who do not own the means of production shall be legally compelled to work for those who do, and shall receive in exchange a security of livelihood, he says citing the great Hilaire Belloc.

It’s pretty obvious that this is the goal of the “never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste” crowd.

Why is our $19.3 trillion national debt being downplayed by the official mouthpieces? Why are we letting in immigrants who hate our values?

Slavery Goal Of Modern Politicians

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-23-16

William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 5-23-16

Mubkxtsktz oy gt gyyuiogzout ul skt cnu ju bourktik zu znk xkyz ul ay.
Rku Zuryzue

Answer to yesterday's William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. RomansSing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day. PsalmsAnswer to yesterday’s William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit quote puzzle: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans

 

Read Phil Heron at the Delaware County Daily Times