Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



________________NEWS RELEASE
State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:

PHONE: 717-787-5662


HARRISBURG, June 15, 2000 -- In light of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge's attempt Wednesday to deny Vice President Al Gore credit for improvements in the Pennsylvania economy, state Senator Vincent Fumo (D-Philadelphia) today pointed to several facts showing that the state is trailing the rest of the nation in economic growth.

A"We are being pulled upward by the strong national economy," said Fumo, the chair of the Democratic Appropriations Committee, "but our state policy-makers in the Ridge Administration have done very little to help."

Fumo cited the following data:

  • Since the beginning of the Clinton-Gore administration through the end of 1999, U.S. employment grew by nearly 21million jobs, an increase of nearly 20 percent. New jobs in Pennsylvania grew at less than half that rate. If new jobs in Pennsylvania had merely been added at the national rate for the past seven years, we would have 450,000 more jobs than we now have.  

  • Early in his administration, Ridge criticized the economic performance of the previous Democratic governor by citing Pennsylvania's No. 45 ranking among states in new job creation. Yet his administration has made no improvement. We ranked 47th in 1999 and stand 44th through April of 2000 (most recently available U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.)

  • Ridge has boasted that he has reduced taxes since becoming governor. While that is true, the national economic expansion has allowed the vast majority of states to do the same. In fact, 34 states reduced taxes last year and 36 did so in 1998. The Clinton-Gore years have seen the longest economic expansion in the nation's history. That has provided annual average growth of 5.25 percent in Pennsylvania's revenue, allowing for reductions in tax rates.

"The governor's refusal to give credit where credit is due is especially troubling because he not only stood on the sidelines, he actually opposed some of the policies that created our economic expansion," Fumo said.

While there are several reasons for the sustained economic boom, one significant factor was the deficit reduction act of 1993. Vice President Gore made the difficult and politically courageous decision to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to pass the act, which has helped balance the national budget. Then-congressman Ridge voted against it in the House.


Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo