What Is Tom Corbett’s Legacy?

Weighing the good and bad of the outgoing governor's administration.

What? Me worry?

After four years, time to weigh Tom Corbett’s accomplishments.

With the year winding down, and Gov. Tom Corbett due to leave office shortly after 2015 begins, news organizations are taking stock of his legacy, weighing the good and the bad. The Associated Press has one such appraisal out now.

Weighing in Corbett’s favor:

Corbett championed the business community. He cut business taxes every year, reducing payments by hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and signed various top-priority bills for business groups. The natural gas industry applauded Corbett for blocking a severance tax sought by many lawmakers, and Corbett often credited his stances as the kernel for Pennsylvaynia’s economic recovery and its growing energy sector.

On the other hand, there were the school budget cuts — which probably doomed him politically — and all the other cuts:

Corbett cut hundreds of millions of dollars from social service programs, including the elimination of $200 monthly cash payments to poor adults unable to work and subsidized health insurance for low-income adults.

“He comes across as insensitive and even cruel. That’s something that’s really hard to shake,” said Randall Miller, a history professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

His historic loss — Corbett was the first incumbent governor to lose a re-election campaign in modern Pennsylvania history — seems likely to be weighed by future historians, as well. The voters, it seems, have already rendered their judgment.