To the editor:
Walter Brasch erroneously declares that Gov. Tom Corbett cut the budgets of state owned universities by half -- a misstatement of such breathtaking proportions that it is hard to know how such a claim could have passed unchallenged by an editor.
The total budget of any state school consists of a variety of sources beyond the annual appropriation and there is not a school out there that would have remained open with half its operating budget removed.
While an inherited structural deficit of $4.2 billion made it necessary to reduce spending, state university budgets were reduced by an average of 12 percent. This fact could easily have been checked with a single telephone call to the state Department of Education.
Mr. Brasch also leaves the misimpression that the governor's trade missions to Europe and South America conflicted with his positions about reduced government spending. The state did not pay for those trips. The missions, which resulted in increased investment and jobs in Pennsylvania, were financed in their entirety by Team PA, a private-sector economic development organization.
It is also regrettable that Mr. Brasch employs partisan talking points about Pennsylvania falling from seventh to 49th in job creation without making any attempt to understand how they are put together. These are rates of growth as measured and ranked by Arizona State University. They measure growth against the existing number of jobs - meaning a state with 1,000 jobs that gains another 1,000 has a 100 percent rate of growth, while a state with 10,000 jobs that adds 2,000 has a 20 percent rate.
The question is: which state has created more jobs?
In 2010, Pennsylvania was ranked ninth in job growth rate, but added only 5,000 jobs. In 2011, we ranked 44th, after adding 60,000 jobs. Which year was better?
Space precludes a point-by-point response to Mr. Brasch's column, but suffice it to say we have shown three instances of the clock striking 13. When it does that, it doesn't merely tell the wrong time. It calls into question every hour tolled before and after.
Office of the Governor
(See Walter Brasch's column at www.neagle.com/article/20131001/NEWS/131009988/1007/OPINION)