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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PA Governor' Race

Part 1...I can't believe the amount of noise coming out of the Democratic primary for the upcoming Pennsylvania governor's race.  It's a genuine feeding frenzy of sorts, what one would expect with a wounded incumbent in the governor's office.  As for me, well the two candidates that do the most for me at this stage are Rob McCord and Tom Wolf.  I like both gentlemen, but for different reasons.  Part of my has a natural distrust for just about any politician, so that makes Tom Wolf more appealing.  On the other hand, Rob McCord does actually have a decent record to run on, in particular his killing of Governor Corbett's lottery give-away.  Now I'm all for taxing-via-gambling (state-run gambling is simply a tax on stupidity, in my opinion), but I don't know why we couldn't have at least a domestic firm running it.

Part 2...I watched a television commercial the other day for the Corbett campaign that basically claimed that, despite everything you've heard, the governor has actually increased educational funding.  Yes, forget all that noise about budget cutting and local school district tax increases; nope, our sitting governor has actually given local school districts more money.  Note that I tried to find the commericial in question on YouTube, but it doesn't seem to be loaded.  Here's a citation from the governor's re-election website that is basically the script for the commercial:

Today, Pennsylvania spends more on basic education than any other time in our state’s history, and more than almost every other state in the country. Tom Corbett has also dramatically increased spending on early childhood development programs and the Head Start program, ensuring that all our children get the education start they deserve.  Tom has also helped to limit tuition increases at our state universities.

Link to the citation HERE.  What's really accurate?  Well there is short but insightful analysis of the governor's commercial HERE.

In the final analysis, I think Tom Corbett is going to learn the same basic lesson that Rick Santorum learned years ago, namely that while much of Pennsylvania is fairly conservative, it's not an ideologically conservative state.  There's a big difference between the two concepts; for example, most state residents want the government to be efficient and have low tax rates, but they have little empathy for politicians who spend significant amounts of time fixated on divisive social issues or engaged in ideological crusades (such as the war Governor Corbett has waged against public education).  Yes, contrary to what some groups would like, Pennsylvania residents will not vote in mass for Tom Corbett simply because he is against abortion.


Mike Sporer said...

Another part of the citation, Stephen: "When Tom Corbett was elected Governor, he inherited a fiscal nightmare. Pennsylvania was burdened with a $4.2 billion budget deficit. And worse yet, almost $1 billion in federal dollars that had been helping to fund our schools ran out." This part IS true.

Problem is Corbett didn't push for any contribution from the big gas companies to help adequately fund education.

He took the challenge and turned it into an excuse.........

Stephen Albert said...

Thanks as always for reading and the comment Mike. Corbett and his defenders claim that total corporate taxes on the drillers are actually pretty high...but there is one GINORMOUS hole in that logic: it assumes that these drillers are paying the full PA corporate tax rate. For the record I HIGHLY doubt they are paying anywhere near that in total.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for the announcement that some big gas company will move its headquarters to PA.