The amoral and inaccurate Sen. Pat Toomey, lying wingnut extraordinaire, speaks at last week's PA Leadership Conference. He looks moderate compared to what the Corbett administration does to the poor. The Republican relationship with economic
March 30, 2012

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The amoral and inaccurate Sen. Pat Toomey, lying wingnut extraordinaire, speaks at last week's PA Leadership Conference. He looks moderate compared to what the Corbett administration does to the poor.

The Republican relationship with economic health is akin to that of a leech and its host, which is why I will no longer refer to Republican "leadership." From here on out, it's "bleedership", especially in my home state of Pennsylvania under the Tom Corbett administration:

While many panelists at this weekend’s Pennsylvania Leadership Conference complained about the Pennsylvania government being too big, a new study shows Pennsylvania may be the poster-child for a stagnant unemployment rate due to state level cuts under Republican leadership.

Bryce Covert and Mike Konczai illustrate a painfully obvious point in The Nation regarding the Commonwealth’s cutting of public jobs and enacting partisan social legislation. And while Pennsylvania may be the most obvious example used by the authors, we’re one of many states undergoing a conservative transformation to the dark side.

Republican state legislators, empowered by new control of the governorship and the state house, proposed one of the most stringent mandatory ultrasound bills in the country. The House passed a voter identification law that could block 700,000 Pennsylvanians from voting, most of them young, of color, and poor. Meanwhile, the same state legislators led a successful charge to shrink public employment. The number of government employees fell over 3 percent that year, one of the sharpest declines in any state.

The piece goes onto to explain that “Pennsylvania isn’t alone.” In fact, as we’re all likely aware, 2010 was a blood red electoral year, and happened because those Republicans promised massive job growth if they only got the chance to rule over us. Lots of swing and oft-blue states went red. The result: the economic and social equivalent of a tire iron to the face. In those 11 states where Republicans have taken control since January 2011, “public sector layoffs are disproportionately concentrated, leading to one of the biggest rounds of job losses for the public workforce since record keeping began.” And with that has come a massive increase in conservative bills meant to limit voting by minorities and the poor, and limiting abortion rights.

In 2011, Pennsylvania state and local employment by the state legislature dropped by more than 3 percent, according to the article. Corbett’s lowering of the corporate tax rate and imposition of a low effective tax rate on drilling the Marcellus Shale have “made the deficit even worse.”

“There could have been fewer layoffs than there were,” said Mark Price, an economist based in Pennsylvania. “They could have avoided this.” As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found, many of these newly GOP-dominated states, including North Carolina, cut corporate taxes, or cut taxes on high-income earners, including Maine and Ohio. Wisconsin did both.

I don't believe they wanted to avoid this. Repeat after me, class: Cheap, disposable labor with no legal protections! It's the Holy Grail of the Grand Old Party.

As to these bleeding-heart whiners, I can only imagine what PA Gov. Corbett would say: "Hey, work on your uppercut! Don't be such a girl!" Because he's so good at that tough-love thing:

Philadelphia already doesn't have enough beds in domestic abuse shelters to serve a glut of demand, andGov. Tom Corbett's proposed 20 percent cut to state social services funding will make matters worse still, likely requiring shelters to reduce their services. Then, there's General Assistance, the $205-per-month, nine-month cash payout that abused women can use to help them get back on their feet after leaving their abusers. As CP's Daniel Denvir reported, the loss of GA to recovering addicts could make thousands homeless. The impact on abused women is just as terrifying: It could discourage them from leaving their abusers.

[...] Another Corbett move — rolling human services funding into a single block grant before slashing it by a fifth — has introduced yet another level of uncertainty for organizations that serve women in crisis. "We've already trimmed our staff," Scioscia says. "We're operating on such a skeletal level that what we're going to have to cut are services."

Putting people out of work, pushing addicts into the street and locking poor women into dangerous and abusive relationships? That's what Gov. Corbett would call a good job!

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