LAST MONTH, Gov. Corbett signed a $27.15 billion budget that represented a 3 percent cut over the previous year's. The budget succeeded in being on time.

That's about the extent of its success, at least measured against what the governor set out to achieve in his March budget address, when he announced that "everyone needs to share in the sacrifice" and defined his core principles as "fiscal discipline, limited government, free enterprise and reform."

The budget certainly helps certain enterprises, especially gas drillers, since it imposed no tax or impact fee on the industry.

But the budget failed pathetically on the other principles, especially the size of government and fiscal discipline.

None of the three branches of government managed to partake in that sharing of sacrifice that poor families and schoolchildren will share, due to cuts in education and welfare.

In fact, the judicial budget got an increase. The legislative branch managed to cough up $50 million of its $189 million surplus. This is a surplus of our unspent money that we have effectively gift-wrapped and sent to the General Assembly, so giving up money it wasn't using isn't exactly a sacrifice.

(Same goes for the state's $785 million surplus.) And through a budget sleight of hand, the Legislature's $300 million operating budget was left essentially unchanged. The governor's budget office also took a teeny .03 percent ding from its $6 million budget.

The state workers' unions froze their salaries for a year, with raises all around for four years after. It goes without saying that none of the three branches took pay cuts.

In the end, this budget cut the size of government services, but left our state government as big and undisciplined as ever-and as unwilling as ever to share the sacrifice. *