At a press conference this week, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord criticized Gov. Tom Corbett’s commitment to not raise tax further on heavily burdened Pennsylvanians – he said, “such pledges constrain elected leaders and can foster a sense of distrust.”

Yet as ATR’s Patrick Gleason noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer last week, the beauty of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge that Gov. Corbett signed is that it forced lawmakers this year, for the first time in a long time, to focus on the real problem plaguing the Commonwealth: overspending. Gleason noted that the “budget Corbett signed into law represents a year-over-year reduction in state spending of about 3 percent. The last time that happened, the Phillies were preparing to move into a brand new facility called Veterans Stadium.”

McCord derides the responsible budget that Corbett recently signed, which, as Gleason noted, marked a significant break from the profligacy of the Rendell administration which increased the general fund “by 40 percent, and total spending increased by 46 percent”

Apparently McCord longs for the unsustainable budgets that were the hallmark of Keystone State governance over the last decade. McCord also seems confused about what the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is and who it is made to. According to a Lehigh Valley Morning Call account of the Treasurer’s remarks, “within the no-tax lobby's argument is an assumption that ‘all government spending is bad,’ McCord said”. Actually no, that’s incorrect. Americans for Tax Reform is not against all taxes and all government spending. Indeed a certain level of government spending and taxation is necessary and warranted; yet, the federal and Pennsylvania governments have surpassed that level. This view happens to be backed up by the facts. As Gleason noted in his Inquirer op-ed, “Had Pennsylvania's budgets been in proportion with population growth and inflation, the state would have spent $50 billion less over the past decade, and lawmakers would be debating what to do with a sizable surplus today.

John F. Kennedy once remarked that our tax system “siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.” It seems they don’t make Democrats like they used to. It is clear from McCord’s remarks this week that he is a Democrat of the Obama-Pelosi-Rendell mold.