Pitt economist Chris Briem dives deep into Gov. Tom Corbett's budget today and finds the guv's team is budgeting only a 1.5% jump in revenues in the coming fiscal year, after predicting a 4.1% jump this year. What's more (see the chart above), actual revenues this year look to be coming in higher than the rosy estimate.
Does that mean the guv thinks the state's economy is heading into trouble in 2013-2014, and perhaps not creating enough jobs? Or may legislators tweak these numbers upward, providing for more spending? Here's Chris:
See where this is going? Everyone fights over expenditures, but the battle is shaped by revenues. The budget just being proposed is anticipating just 1.5% additional revenues over the current fiscal year. Virtually a new recession in Pennsylvania. The current fiscal year is pacing at least +5% (or 3.5 points above what is being projected). Each of those percentage points in the delta is $280+ million not being budgeted for. If nothing else, and I fully appreciate the obligatory dismalness of budget forecasters... at a certain point you have to ask yourself how much dismal is enough? Maybe the bigger question is if there is reason to think Pennsylvania's ecconomy is going to tank pretty soon (FY13/14 starts in less than 5 months) then we should have some explanation as to why