During an appearance at a York County manufacturing company Monday afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett defended his decision to eliminate nearly a billion dollars in government programs, saying Pennsylvania doesn’t have the revenue to sustain current spending levels.
“Some…are complaining this budget is too business-friendly. I disagree,” he said. “Business is what this country is about. Business grows jobs. Helping business isn’t selling out. It’s buying into the future of this country. Buying into the future of Pennsylvania. Making sure workers have work.”
Corbett has faced loud criticism from some quarters, and was booed during two weekend events in Pittsburgh. But he insisted reaction has been exactly what he expected.
“I’ve had a lot of people coming up to me saying, ‘Yeah, you’re doing absolutely the right thing.’ I walked in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pittsburgh. I got booed. I got cheered. That’s how it is when you’re governor and you have to make tough decisions. There are no easy decisions in this,” he said.
When asked about specific line items, Corbett insisted his budget is merely the starting point for negotiations, comparing it to the first quarter of a football (or lacrosse?) game. He’s willing to negotiate the amount of money going to each department, he said, but not the overall spending total.
“I will consider everything,” he said. “I know $27.3 (billion) is the number. We will work to how we get there, and we will negotiate to how we get there.”