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Another Day, Another Flip-Flop

Another Day, Another Flip-Flop

At second gubernatorial debate, Harrisburg Republican Corbett reverses position from first gubernatorial debate
PITTSBURGH: Under fire for proposing a $3 billion tax hike on working Pennsylvanians, Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett took the path of least resistance tonight: he completely reversed himself.

 Less than three weeks ago, Corbett told the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry that he would “look at the payroll tax, increasing the payroll contribution” in order to repay the $3 billion that Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation fund owes the federal government. He continued: “I would look at reducing the unemployment if necessary, if we get to that point. And I’m not inclined to go along with increasing the tax [on businesses] at this point…. [T]o add taxes to them at this point in time… would be devastating to the small businesses of Pennsylvania.” [PCN, 9/27/2010]
Corbett’s response raised eyebrows – both because the Harrisburg Republican was insisting that workers shoulder a $3 billion tax increase during these tough economic times and because it contradicted his earlier budget promises.
First, Corbett tried to deflect questions. Speaking to a WGAL-TV interviewer, Corbett explained: “Talking about what is or isn’t [a tax increase], that’s all hypothetical.  That’s all down the future.  Let’s worry about the election right now.  Let’s get through this election and get into, into office.  That’s what I’m focused on right now.” [10/8/2010]
But that didn’t work. Even Americans for Tax Reform clearly said: “It is what is commonly known as a payroll tax – and this is not a matter of dispute.”
So at tonight’s gubernatorial debate, Corbett simply changed his position:
Moderator John Baer: “So contributions are off the table as well?”
Corbett: “Contributions are off the table as well.”
Tom Corbett’s latest flip-flop raises a series of questions:
1.       Is Corbett now proposing to raise business taxes by $3 billion?
2.      Does Corbett want to cut unemployment benefits – which he believes lead the unemployed to stay home and avoid going back to work – by $3 billion?
3.      Or does Corbett even know or care enough about this important problem to clearly describe a solution?
“Tom Corbett has no experience balancing the budget, turning around the economy or making tough decisions to run a government – and it shows,” said Onorato Communications Director Brian Herman.

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