The GOP Tax Bill: An Assault on Economic Equality and Democracy

Budgets, it is frequently said, are an embodiment of our moral ideals and commitments. If so, the tax plan adopted by the Senate on Friday represents an extreme moral failure on the part of the senators from the Republican Party who voted for it. At a time when incomes are becoming ever more unequal, the Republican tax plan will ultimately make the rich richer and the poor and middle class poorer. Not only will working people and the middle class suffer, but so will our whole country. 

Show Me the Savings! Bipartisan Lawmakers Back Transparency to Stop Outsourcing That Costs School Districts More

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A large body of research and experience shows that public sector outsourcing often backfires. Rather than resulting in savings for taxpayers, governments too often get bilked, paying more money to private vendors, in some cases for inferior services. To rub salt in the wounds, private companies may pay lower wages and benefits, completing the lose-lose-lose trifecta – bad for taxpayers, bad for government, bad for workers. 

New Jersey and the $15 Minimum Wage

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With yesterday’s news that the Garden State will move toward a $15 minimum wage next year as pledged by Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, and alongside his fellow Democrats who control the state Legislature, one must ask: when will Pennsylvania’s legislature get on board and follow in the footsteps of states like New Jersey, New York and Maryland?

For Many Pennsylvanians, Insurance Premiums Increase Are Greater Than Tax Cuts

As we have pointed out previously, because it repeals the individual mandate, the Senate tax cut proposal will not only lead to 13 million fewer people having health insurance in the United States, but it will lead to much higher premiums for many who do purchase health insurance on the individual market. The CBO’s estimate was that premiums nationwide would increase by 10%.

Help for Your Thanksgiving Day Tax Debates

If your family is anything like ours, politics tends to come up around the Thanksgiving Day table and diverse opinions are often put forward, including by one or more of our cranky uncles who mutter about “those people” and the “damn government.” Since your cranky uncles like mine no doubt listens to Rush and his friends, they are going to present you with a lot of misinformation about the GOP federal tax cut bill. 

But have no fear as we have your back.

The Rich Get Richer: Why the Senate Tax Bill is a Total Sham

The Senate Republican tax plan would provide enormous, permanent tax cuts to high-income households and corporations – all while adding at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit. And to pay for its permanent tax cuts for corporations, the bill would raise taxes on many middle-income families and repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, increasing the number of uninsured Pennsylvanians by 505,000 and raising individual market premiums nationwide by 10 percent.

This is Not Normal

It is hard to look at politics in America without being afraid for our future. Everywhere we look, we see extremist movements that reject common standards of argument and evidence that are willing to say anything to advance their cause and that will not compromise even at the cost of creating a public disaster. 

On HB/SB 76 — Property Tax Elimination in PA

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As we point out in our previous post, some people believe that the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November would make it easier to enact some version of the property tax elimination proposal, HB /SB 76. We are not sure that this is true. But if it were true, we would certainly oppose the constitutional amendment because HB / SB 76 is possibly the worst policy proposal we’ve ever encountered. 

On Joint Resolution 1, the Constitutional Amendment on Property Taxes

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We are getting a lot of questions about what the constitutional amendment on the ballot this year means and where the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center stands on it.

We haven’t rushed to judgment on it for a couple of reasons. First, we are not convinced that this amendment will, by itself, have much impact on policy in the state. And second, given that any amendment to the Constitution is important, we wanted to make sure we understood all the implications of it before reaching a conclusion.

In Truth, The PA Budget Is Still Not Done

A quick take

If the governor signs the tax and fiscal code bills passed this week, or allows them to become law, a funding plan for the Pennsylvania Budget for 2017-2018 that technically allows for a balanced budget will be complete. But the work of the General Assembly is not finished because this funding plan not only fails to address the long-term budget problems faced by the state, it deepens those problems. The result will be that the fiscal year beginning in July 2018 will be in deficit and that, unless the state changes direction, those deficits will no doubt increase in subsequent years. (Click the title for more)

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