Corbett governs for all Pennsylvanians
When Ed Rendell ran for governor in 2002, he made a big splash traveling the commonwealth in a luxury tour bus. He gave lip service to representing all Pennsylvanians, but once elected Rendell often worked out of an office in Philadelphia, where it seemed that he governed mainly for Philadelphia.
That's why it's been so refreshing to see Gov. Tom Corbett and the Republican leaders in the Legislature govern with an eye on all of Pennsylvania's working families, not just a few special interests. While so much media attention remains on Philadelphia and its needs, it's important for citizens to fully understand just how much has been accomplished statewide since 2010.
Perhaps most important is the simple fact that the governor and the Legislature have passed three straight balanced budgets. While on the surface this could be seen as government doing what it is supposed to do, it's remarkable because the previous administration never passed an on-time budget. And more, all three budgets have lived within the state's means and didn't contain a single tax hike on working families — also counter to the previous administration's budgets.
Since 2010, Mr. Corbett and the Republican-led Legislature have been focused on what matters most to Pennsylvanians: attracting good jobs, spending tax dollars wisely, providing public safety, investing in education and supporting the elderly and others in need.
It's about commonsense policies — policies that eliminate the inheritance tax on small businesses, continue to phase out the Capitol Stock and Franchise Tax and increase funding for PA First, the commonwealth's main attraction, relocation and expansion tool for businesses.
It's these types of commonsense policies that have jump-started our state's economy and driven more than 110,000 new private-sector jobs in Pennsylvania since Corbett took office. Thanks to Marcellus shale, the natural gas industry continues to create thousands of jobs, providing a huge economic boost to many small towns across Pennsylvania, especially right here in the western part of our commonwealth. For families struggling to make ends meet, the abundance of natural gas has helped to reduce prices by 40 percent since 2008.
This administration, with the Legislature, has consistently put people, not partisanship, first. While liquor privatization and pension reform are hot and divisive topics, these cannot be positioned as the only issues facing Harrisburg. Focusing on these alone only distracts from all that is being done to stabilize the state's finances, drive new jobs and protect Pennsylvania's working families — whether in our cities or on our farms.
Corbett and the Republican-led Legislature have worked hard to govern in a responsible, compassionate manner. The achievements of the past three years may not be considered “sexy” by media standards but they have positively changed and enhanced the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanians. In the end, isn't that what our leaders should be measured against?
Rob Gleason is the chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.