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Corbett to Patriot-News: I Don’t Really Know What I’m Talking About

Corbett to Patriot-News: I Don’t Really Know What I’m Talking About

GOP nominee ‘has not yet looked at the state budget’ he talks about cutting
PITTSBURGH: Tom Corbett’s ongoing struggle to understand the state budget crisis hit another rough patch yesterday when Corbett deviated from the controlled environments he prefers and appeared before the Patriot-News editorial board. 
Venturing into a forum that rejects superficial talking points, Corbett demonstrated yet again that when it comes to Pennsylvania’s fiscal problems, he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about – a fact he practically admitted in the interview.  This time Corbett demonstrated that he:
Has never looked at the state budget (or at least doesn’t know what’s in it)
Can’t find one wasteful program worth cutting, despite envisioning an existing government teeming with them

Advocates proposals to shift costs to local government and increase property taxes
The evidence from Corbett’s performance:
Tom Corbett again insisted he will cut state programs… but acknowledged that he has no idea which ones. Corbett told the Patriot-News that budget cuts “could well be directed back to programs that the people of Pennsylvania have become accustomed to” but “he has not yet looked at the state budget or spoken to legislative leaders in detail about what programs might be on the chopping block.”
Tom Corbett suggests cutting one state agency… but can’t think of a single wasteful program in that agency.  According to the Patriot-News, “One agency that faces scrutiny under a Corbett administration would be the state Department of Community and Economic Development….  Corbett said the department’s list of programs — about 300 different items — could be ripe for consolidation to save taxpayer dollars.”
But speaking to a different group this summer, Corbett couldn’t identify any DCED programs that are wasteful – revealing to an audience of Pennsylvania mayors that: “I can’t tell you right now that we are funding programs that aren’t working….” [Pennsylvania League of Mayors, 7/18/2010]
Tom Corbett rules out state tax hikes… but not local ones.Pressed by the Patriot-News on whether some state cuts might result in local property tax hikes, Corbett – who cast the deciding vote for a 20% property tax hike in Shaler Township – demurred: “Corbett said that how state and local officials handle issues of shifting program costs would depend on the individual program. ‘You work at it the best you possibly can.’”
Corbett has repeatedly struggled when talking about the state budget and fiscal crisis. While Corbett has at various times advocated conflicting approaches to the budget – including limiting spending growth to the rate of inflation, cutting spending across the board and targeted budget cuts – he has requested more money for his Attorney General office every year since his election. 
Corbett says he advocates cutting the budget, but he has also said that he wants to increase spending for welfare cash assistance grants and supplemental security income, addiction programs, public education, pre-school, the educational improvement tax credit, workforce development, court administration and funding, venture capital investment, agriculture, economic development and infrastructure.
And Corbett’s most recent campaign ad includes criticism of “the $45 million Harrisburg spent [to renovate] their office building.” Yet news reports have accused Corbett of “misleading voters” and being “factually incorrect” because the spending did not in fact occur. [WGAL-TV, 9/29/2010]

“Tom Corbett has openly admitted that he’s never even looked at the state budget, despite making budget cuts the centerpiece of his agenda,” said Onorato communications director Brian Herman. “Corbett doesn’t know what’s in the budget, can’t explain what he’d cut from it and doesn’t care if his policies increase local property taxes.  Pennsylvania voters are looking for a candidate with the knowledge, experience and vision to balance the budget, turn around the economy and create jobs.  The more Tom Corbett speaks, the more he demonstrates that Dan Onorato is the best choice for Pennsylvania governor.”
A life-long Pennsylvanian, Dan Onorato was raised in a working class neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side. He graduated college from Penn State and received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Onorato has served as Allegheny County Executive since 2004 and was unopposed for re-election in 2007.  Prior to being elected County Executive, Onorato served as Allegheny County Controller and a Pittsburgh City Councilman.  Dan and his wife Shelly reside in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh with their three children.


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