As the midterm elections creep closer and closer, everyone is either taking a side or brushing it by the wayside. We here at the College Republicans encourage activism on campus and in the community. However, we would like to elaborate on some facts about Tom Corbett and his governorship that have been disputed or otherwise ignored.
Running against the incumbent republican governor is York County native Tom Wolf. Wolf has a very diverse background, working in the furniture industry, while also acquiring his PhD from M.I.T. He took over as the Chief Revenue Officer under former Governor Ed Rendell in 2006. Rendell was a master at raising taxes, and leave it to Wolf to learn from the best. According to multiple sources including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wolf will only release his proposal on how he plans to raise the state income tax if he is elected next month. What kind of strategy is that? Also, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, Wolf plans to increase state education funding by $4.6 billion. To do that however, the state income tax would have to be nearly tripled.
Another one of Corbett’s strong points throughout his term as governor has been the job growth around the state of Pennsylvania. Most of that job growth is a product of fracking and breaking Marcellus shale. According to CBS Pittsburgh, since drilling took off in Pennsylvania five years ago, 45,000 new jobs have been created just in the gas industry. One point that is often used against Corbett is that during the 2011 recession, he dropped Pennsylvania from 7th to 49th in the category of job creation. What people who use that claim are failing to realize is that Pennsylvania recovered from the recession faster and stronger than most states. In 2010, before the recession, Pennsylvania had seen 83,500 jobs added. From March 2010 on into March 2011, 90,300 jobs were added. In March 2011 alone, PA ranked sixth with 55,200 new jobs.
Ultimately, one of Corbett’s critics’ age old arguments is his educational spending record. The claims are endless that Corbett cut public education spending by very large amounts. When Tom Corbett took office, he was faced by a 4 billion dollar deficit along with the $1 billion in federal funds that was supposed to be spent on education had run out. He has been able to erase the aforementioned deficit and increase spending in education without raising taxes. During his time as governor, Tom Corbett has increased education spending by over $1 billion. At this time in the state of Pennsylvania, the administration is spending more on education than any other time in the state’s history. A total of $374 million has been invested in early childhood education. Under Corbett, the growth has been, $72 million, or a 24 percent increase.
Moving on with Corbett’s education policies, he has also assisted low-income families to get their kids to schools. The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program provides $50 million that can be used for tuition to low-income families. His administration also expanded the Teacher Evaluation system, giving teachers in Pennsylvania more room to grow, improve, and learn. The School Performance Profile was created, so parents can get an inside view of the quality of the school that their kids are attending. Last but not least, the “Ready to Learn” block grant is $200 million that directly impacts Pennsylvania classrooms, making sure that each student is proficient in their grade level reading and math.
This is indeed a big election for the state of Pennsylvania. Tom Corbett has done so much good for the state whether it is in keeping taxes down, creating jobs, or funding education. Be sure to keep Pennsylvania on the right track and vote for Tom Corbett on Tuesday Nov. 4.