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Some bad news out of Pennsylvania today:

http://lancasteronline.com/...

Moody’s Investors Service lowered Pennsylvania's credit rating on $11.1 billion worth of bonds in part due to the recently passed state budget that it said relied too heavily on one-time money transfers and failed to address the pension crisis.

The rating for Pennsylvania's general-obligation bonds was lowered to Aa3 from Aa2 in a move announced Monday that also included a downgrade by one notch on $2 billion in other bonds.

The ratings service called out the government officials for avoiding a "growing structural imbalance" that includes the $29.1 billion budget and what it said was a deteriorating fiscal condition due to gimmicks in the budget.

"The expectation that large and growing pension liabilities coupled with modest economic growth will limit Pennsylvania's ability to regain structural balance in the near term," Moody's said. - Lancaster Online, 7/21/14

Here's a little more info:

http://www.bizjournals.com/...

The rating for Pennsylvania's general-obligation bonds was lowered to Aa3 from Aa2 in a move announced Monday that also included a downgrade by one notch on $2 billion in other bonds. The commonwealth's rating remains stable, Moody's said.

The ratings service called out Pennsylvania's "growing structural imbalance" that included the $29.1 billion budget and what it said was a deteriorating fiscal condition due to one-time measures in the budget.

"The expectation that large and growing pension liabilities coupled with modest economic growth will limit Pennsylvania's ability to regain structural balance in the near term," Moody's said. - Pittsburgh Business Times, 7/21/14

And of course Governor Tom Corbett (R. PA) knows who to blame:

http://www.bloomberg.com/...

The state’s unfunded pension liability is set to grow by 38 percent to $65 billion in 2018, according to state estimates.

Pennsylvania lawmakers recessed for the summer without voting on a bill backed by Governor Tom Corbett that would shift some of the burden of funding retirement benefits to new state and school workers. The 65-year-old Republican, who’s running for re-election in November, is urging legislators to return and deal with the issue he’s called the state’s “biggest fiscal challenge.”

“It’s clear that this pension crisis has put severe strain on Pennsylvania’s finances,” Corbett said in a statement. “As families struggle with skyrocketing property taxes, pension costs are consuming more than 60 cents of every new dollar of state general-fund revenues. Doing nothing is not an option and doing nothing fails our families.”  - Bloomberg, 7/21/14

But Tom Wolf (D. PA) calls bull shit:

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/...

Wolf's campaign said the downgrade is a result of Corbett's "gimmick-filled budget, weak economy and failed leadership," while House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, said Corbett has put Pennsylvania "in a more precarious financial position."

$6 billion: All told, payments by school districts and all agencies of the state government into the state's two major public pension funds are on course to rise from $750 million in 2009 to well over $6 billion in 2018, in part because of previous decisions by state policymakers to delay the pain of pension contributions.

This month, Corbett signed a $29 billion budget that does not raise broad-based taxes on sales or income, cuts business taxes and relies on more than $2.5 billion in one-time stopgaps.

It also came unaccompanied by the passage of pension legislation he supports. - York Dispatch, 7/21/14

This is the third time Moody's downgraded PA's credit rating:

http://www.sacbee.com/...

Tom Corbett for election coverage 2008. .Christine Baker, The Patriot-News
All told, payments by school districts and all agencies of the state government into the state's two major public pension funds are on course to rise from $750 million in 2009 to well over $6 billion in 2018, in part because of previous decisions by state policymakers to delay the pain of pension contributions.

This month, Corbett signed a $29 billion budget that does not raise broad-based taxes on sales or income, cuts business taxes and relies on more than $2.5 billion in one-time stopgaps, including postponing Medicaid payments, raiding off-budget programs and draining reserves.

It also came unaccompanied by the passage of pension legislation he supports.

Democrats oppose the Corbett-backed bill because its only savings arise from cuts in benefits and instead proposed a plan to refinance a portion of the debt. Some Republicans balked because it would not relieve any immediate pressure on school district budgets. Corbett had proposed temporarily slashing the legally required pension payments, but dropped it after House Republican leaders opposed it. - AP, 7/21/14

And really, there's no one to blame but Corbett:

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Michael D’Arcy at Moody’s blamed Pennsylvania’s elimination of subsidies to districts that lost students to charter schools, and school funding cuts (by Gov. Corbett and the General Assembly), for the schools’ “financial turmoil.”

Mayor Nutter’s loan offer “is unprecedented,” D’Arcy added.

“Typically, more senior levels of government, such as the state, assume such a role,” D’Arcy added. - Keystone Politics, 8/22/13

It's no wonder Corbett is a dead man walking.  His polling is abysmal because of Pennsylvania's economy under his watch.  Luckily we have a real chance at defeating him this year.  Click here to donate and get involved with Wolf's campaign, State Senator Mike Stack's (D. PA) Lt. Governor campaign and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party so we can take back the State Senate:
http://www.wolfforpa.com/
http://www.stackforpa.com/
http://www.padems.com/

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 07:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Southeastern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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