Gov. Ed Rendell says more cuts needed

: More fun with budgets [Capitol Ideas]

Rendell said he agreed with Senate Republicans (oh ... whoa ... must check to see the if Earth is turning in the opposite direction) that more cuts had to be made to his spending plan. They just disagreed on where those cuts had to be made and how deep they had to go.

"I agree with the Republicans that cuts are necessary," he said. "They obviously went overboard. But we've got to cut first before we do anything else."

You'll excuse once more ... we're checking outside for plagues of locusts and stuff ...

As he's been saying for weeks now, Rendell reiterated his position that an personal income tax hike would be the absolute last resort to close a budget deficit that's now projected to be $3.2 billion when the state closes its books on June 30.

But he also left the door open on a tax hike just a little, teensy bit, giving lawmakers the wiggle room they needed to adopt a tax hike if it's necessary. The size of the crack? Not that big, but probably still big enough to give the mice voiced by Mickey Rooney and Zsa Zsa Gabor in that old Disney movie "The Rescuers" enough room to slip through.

"I am fighting as hard as I can to avoid that eventuality, but it might not be avoidable," he said.