Saturday, December 20, 2008

No Public Outcry Over Pennsylvania General Assembly's Surplus

Apathy in America seems to be at an all time high. It's a sorry place we find ourselves today. Anyone paying attention to the news knows about the $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the Fed printing money translating inventing money, a $17.4 billion bailout of a terminally ill auto industry, a $700 billion bailout of the financial services sector, a 40% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, housing prices falling to the tune of 39% in some areas, and mortgage/general credit unavailability.

In the wake of all that doom the Pennsylvania General Assembly has a $200 million dollar surplus. The interesting part of this story to me is not so much about the surplus but about the cost of government. According to Legislative Audit Advisory Commission the cost of Pennsylvania's General Assembly was $316 million plus another $37 million for a total of $353 million.

There are 253 legislators in Pennsylvania between the House and the Senate. On average each legislator costs Pennsylvanians $1,395,256.00. Pennsylvania has the highest number of legislators per 100,000 residents. If the legislature were cut in half Pennsylvanians could save almost $177 million per year. Imagine the services that could be funded with that kind of money.

Back to the $200 million surplus. Why is the Legislature keeping the surplus money? In most other states that money is returned to the General Fund at the end of the year, translates, back to the taxpayer.

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