Gov. Tom Corbett has accomplished more in 20 months than President Obama has in 3½ years. Let’s face it, folks, it is hard being a red governor in a blue state such as Pennsylvania.
Instead of focusing on where Gov. Corbett has missed the mark, I want to focus on what the governor has done right for Pennsylvania. The polls might show him down, but are you surprised when he needed to make so many tough decisions?
Let’s start with the burden of former Gov. Ed Rendell’s free-spending ways. He left behind a legacy of debt that we’re going to be paying for decades to come. He left a huge budget deficit for Corbett to try to fill. There’s no easy, quick fix for that. And yet Gov. Corbett has spent his time resolving problems left by the previous administration instead of reminding anyone who will listen that nothing was his fault. This is because he knows the difference between fault and responsibility.
Corbett has met his campaign promise of balancing the budget two years in a row. We should be shouting this from the mountaintops and praising the governor. But with balancing the budget comes tough budget cuts. This is where people get upset. No one wants their favorite government program cut.
As Steve Forbes pointed out in a recent op-ed, “Corbett’s 2012-13 budget took a meaningful step — a long needed one — toward changing the culture of Pennsylvania government from ‘tax and spend’ to policies that move in the direction of market-based investment and job creation, lower taxes and limited government.”
Some of these reforms include changes to the state’s unemployment compensation system, a new school choice program that will help students in failing schools, prison reform, block grants for counties and tax reform, including phasing out the family farm tax and phasing out the business asset tax.
Fellow Pennsylvanians, this is a huge list of accomplishments. With these reforms, our state is turning around. Most of the governor’s critics voice objections similar to those of state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster,: “The budget did nothing to make up for the deep funding cuts to public schools and universities.”
In this entitlement/nanny-state culture, there will always be the shrill voices whining about not getting enough while dining at the public trough. Under Gov. Rendell, we were increasing spending in these areas at an unsustainable rate. We now need to live with the pain of realistic spending numbers. Just like in our personal lives, if we have been running up our credit cards, it is painful and difficult to get back on track. But the end result is well worth it.
Pennsylvanians are tired of finger-pointing and appreciate effective management and leadership. Keep up the good work, Gov. Corbett.