The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 7, 2013

Show us the money

In the movie "Jerry McGuire," in order to keep a client's business, the title character is required by the client to repeatedly say, "Show me the money!" We, the residents of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, should be repeating this mantra to Gov. Corbett as he attempts to privatize the liquor store system.

Lets take a hard look at the governor's proposal and its financial ramifications. When the privatization plan was first proposed, he told us we could expect a one-time infusion of $2 billion. Several months later this estimate dropped by $600 million and the latest estimate is now $800 million. While this still appears to be a substantial windfall, the fact the governor and his financial think tank doing these numbers have continually lowered their expected revenues.

Consider these numbers please: in fiscal year 2011-12, the stores brought in $2.1 billion in sales and for this year sales are up about 5 percent. In addition, the PLCB is a self-funded bureau taking no money from the taxpayer unless they make a purchase in store. Plus the General Fund received $500 million from the PLCB and this year the general fund should receive $514 million. Now if I had an entity that was bringing in $2 billion in revenue yearly, contributing another half billion a year in revenue to the treasury, I would not sell it for $800 million. No clear thinking person would. Gov. Corbett and our House of Representatives would.

No wonder our state's finances are so screwed up. If a loss like this is a good idea how many more examples can we find in other state decisions?

In addition to this financial blunder the governor has publicly stated his re-election is incumbent on getting privatization passed. What a prince of a fellow our governor is -- his re-election at the cost of 5,000 people losing their jobs and the state getting less money in the coffers than we do presently. Gov. Corbett: Show us the money!

Harry Prentiss, Sunbury

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