Smith: Corbett Defended: Fiscal Discipline Is A Responsible State Budget Strategy

Erie Times-News

As debate over the 2011-12 state budget begins in earnest, the charge to lawmakers from the Gov. Tom Corbett administration is crafting a fiscally responsible state budget that reins in government spending and bolsters private-sector job creation in order to put the commonwealth on more solid ground financially and economically.

The governor set the stage in March by offering a $27.3 billion proposal that would take Pennsylvania back to pre-recession, 2008 spending levels. While the budget as proposed by the governor would have a significant impact on higher education and hospital communities, it is only a starting point for negotiations. Over the coming weeks, the governor and lawmakers will debate these and other cuts as they reach agreement on how best to achieve the reduced spending sought by the administration.

Budget cuts are never easy, nor are they an easy sell. Living within ones means requires tough choices, as Pennsylvania individuals and families — and job creators — that struggled during the recent recession know all too well. But sometimes it becomes absolutely necessary to do so, and now is one of those times for state government.

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