When it comes to popularity ratings, Gov. Corbett has endured a steady diet of bad news this past year, as polls have shown his approval ratings in a free fall.
But Tuesday brought a break in the streak: the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute is giving Corbett and three other governors an "A" grade in its annual fiscal report card on governors.
Here is what the report had to say about the governor: "Corbett has been a frugal budgeter. The state is expected to spend less next year than it did when he came into office. Corbett is also pursing the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, which is paid by 100,000 Pennsylvania businesses. So far Corbett has sliced the tax from $819 million a year to $479 million, and he plans to fully repeal it by 2014. Corbett argues: “This tax is a job-killer.
... We don’t need it. We don’t benefit from it, and we must get rid of it.’’
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was given a "B." The other three with As: Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rick Scott of Florida and Paul LePage of Maine.
But as Corbett and his political advisers have discovered, budget cutting doesn't always make you popular with the masses. The governor has been a frequent target of criticism for directing his budget ax to public schools and welfare programs for the poor and disabled.
A poll commissioned by Franklin & Marshall College and The Philadelphia News last month showed that more registered voters view Corbett unfavorably than ever before: 30 percent viewed the governor "strongly" or "somewhat" favorably, and 43 percent viewed him strongly or somewhat unfavorably.
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