“I’m worst at what/I do best” – Tom Corbett, probably.
Tom Corbett is running on two major themes in his reelection campaign: Natural Gas Jobs, and Fiscal Responsibility.
He doesn’t have a record to run on when it comes to overall job growth – as soon as the Republican economic policies hit the state’s bloodstream, private sector job growth stalled out, and public sector employment numbers have been abysmal (although Republicans think those don’t count.)
But natural gas sector employment has actually been plunging for the last two years, despite copious Republican butt-kissing after natural gas executives.
So is there anything that Tom Corbett has tried to do that hasn’t ended in utter failure? Fiscal responsibility maybe? Can Corbett at least say that despite all the unpopular cuts, the state’s finances are in good working order?
Sadly, no. Standard & Poor’s says that the state budget is structurally imbalanced, plugged up with gimmicks and deferrals and general trickery:
“Of the states singled out by S&P, the State of Independence has the largest projected state reserve decline: 83.8%. The problem is the budget is out of whack, S&P says. ‘The budget is not structurally balanced and relies on one-time savings, deferrals and other measures that add uncertainty,’ S&P says, adding that it ‘could leave the state ill-prepared for a downturn.’
This is what happens when you lay off a bunch of public workers and education programs to finance an even larger regressive business tax cut – you end up with a big gap in revenues. And the party’s not even over yet. The current budget is full of fake numbers too. Tom Corbett, can’t you do anything right?
(h/t John Micek)