Chairman Rob Gleason
Like millions of Americans and Pennsylvanians do every month, our Governor and state legislators began February by undertaking the simple concept of hammering out the details of a budget. Sometimes, families struggle to pay their bills because spending more than you earn just doesn’t work. It’s common sense.
While a state’s budget will obviously be much larger on a financial scale and much more involved in terms of negotiations and length of time, there is no excuse as to why our leaders shouldn’t always apply that very same, common sense principle of a balanced budget.
While President Obama and Senator Casey can’t seem to grasp this in Washington, DC, we can restassured that our leader in Harrisburg does.
Earlier this month, Governor Tom Corbett made his presentation to the legislature for a fiscally responsible budget plan to put Pennsylvania on a ‘path to prosperity.’ This budget lives up to Governor Corbett’s promises on the campaign trail to rein in government spending and largesse.
At the root of our troubles prior to his inauguration, was an idea ingrained in Harrisburg that all of our problems could be solved by throwing more money at them, and if we didn’t have the money to throw at them, raise taxes.
Instead, Governor Corbett confronted the culture of runaway deficits and government waste head on by balancing the budget for the second year in a row.
The 2012-2013 budget will reduce government spending by 6% and increase efficiency by cutting unnecessary costs in the state’s auto fleet, ending wasteful earmarks, eliminating vacant government jobs, merging state programs and agencies with similar purposes, and giving local governments the ability to decide where funds are most needed and best spent. This budget also encourages and empowers the private sector, not bureaucracy, to create new jobs.
Governor Corbett accomplished this all while standing his ground against new taxes on Pennsylvania’s working class families, which would damage our already fragile economic recovery.
Now, the Governor has been under a lot of criticism for claims that he is cutting funding for education. It’s simply not true. In fact, Governor Corbett is funding education at the highest levels in our Commonwealth’s history. Democrats and critics will attempt to argue that claim to fame belongs to Ed Rendell – but we can thank our own Governor Corbett for fully funding education and balancing our budget simultaneously.
Throwing one-time-only stimulus funds at basic education that wouldn’t be there in the future, as Governor Rendell did was irresponsible and created the problems we face today.
Those accounting gimmicks are just the kind of fiscal irresponsibility that Governor Corbett has done away with in Harrisburg, while protecting the taxpayer and keeping his commitment to education, public safety, human services and private sector job creation.
I hope you’ll join me over the next few months in supporting Governor Corbett and ensuring Pennsylvania is headed down a path towards a prosperous future.