Tom Corbett keeps saying that he’s kept all his campaign promises, and that’s true. But when we look at the results of those promises, that’s actually devastating to Corbett’s case for reelection.
The story of the last four years is that the Republican coalition of rural and exurban voters did what they always do when voters let them put on the big boy pants: they went totally apeshit on Pennsylvania’s largest economies in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – the urban areas where Democrats live – they gave away the store to natural gas companies and other extractive industries, lavished untold millions in tax credits, direct subsidies, and deregulatory grift upon favored businesses in the state’s emptiest areas, and the results were predictably horrible.
The state’s bond rating keeps getting worse, revenue collections are coming in under projections because of totally transparent budget gimmickery and $1.2 billion in business tax cuts, and now we learn that the state has fallen to dead last in job growth in the entire nation. Republicans somehow managed to piss off parents in wealthy places like Lower Merion Township with their school budget cuts, and the resulting property tax increases. PA Republicans managed to be less successful somehow even than Sam Brownback in Kansas.
So yes, Corbett is totally right – he kept his promises, and this is what we got. If you think the results are good, you should definitely vote for him again.
Pennsylvania’s rank for percent job growth since January 2011 has fallen to last place among states, based on employment data for September 2014 released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In September, Pennsylvania lost 9,600 jobs while the state’s unemployment rate fell from one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7% (view the fact sheet).
The Keystone Research Center’s Aug. 28 report The State of Working Pennsylvania 2014 documented that the commonwealth’s economic recovery has taken longer and been more painful than necessary because of misguided state and national policies. “Today’s numbers drive home emphatically that you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” said Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of Keystone Research Center. “We were ranked in the top 10 for job growth in 2010. Then tens of thousands of layoffs in education, and the state’s postponed investment in infrastructure and delayed acceptance of Medicaid expansion dollars delivered a body blow to Pennsylvania’s recovery, the effects of which are still being felt. In recession and recovery, Pennsylvania needs a balanced, creative policy and state budget approach that fuels the state’s economic engine, not an unbalanced one that slams on the brakes.”