Posts by third and state

Third and State This Week: Few in PA Get Top Tax Cuts, Single Bid for PA Lottery, Minimum Wage Boost & Latest on PA Jobs

Note: Third and State is taking a well-deserved break from December 23, 2012 through the end of the year. We will be back in action January 2, 2013. See you then.

This week at Third and State, we blogged about new analyses finding that few Pennsylvanians would benefit from extending tax cuts for high-income earners and that questions remain about the plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery. Plus, a look at the 10 states that will give minimum wage workers a raise in the New Year and the latest Pennsylvania jobs report.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On federal taxes, Sharon Ward shared a new analysis from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center finding that President Obama’s plan to end federal tax cuts for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties.
  • On privatization, Stephen Herzenberg observed that "one is the loneliest number" especially when it comes to the number of bids received by the commonwealth to privatize the operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Steve's post highlights the findings of a recent Keystone Research Center policy brief on the lottery plan.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote that the decline in Pennsylvania's unemployment rate in November is a welcome change, but that the jobless rate remains unchanged from a year ago at 7.8%.
  • On wages, Jamar Thrasher blogged about 10 states (none of which are called Pennsylvania) that will increase their minimum wage rates in the New Year.
  • Finally, Chris Lilienthal shared charts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities here and here providing some perspective in the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts.

IN OTHER NEWS:

  • The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center issued a statement saying that a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce/IHS report on Pennsylvania's energy future makes inflated claims about gas drilling's impact on job growth and tax revenue, while ignoring the costs that drilling imposes on citizens, the environment, and communities.

Third and State This Week: Americans Living on $2 a Day, Mayors Talk Federal Deficit and Youth Unemployment

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the increasing number of children and families living in extreme poverty, the latest on the state revenue picture, Pennsylvania mayors on a federal deficit deal and the long-term effects of youth unemployment.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On poverty, Jamar Thrasher wrote about a report on the increasing number of children and families living in extreme poverty, defined as surviving on $2 or less per day.
  • On federal budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a message from the mayors of Philadelphia, Allentown, York, and Reading to members of Congress as they craft a deficit reduction plan.
  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote about November state revenue collections and the threat new business tax cuts pose to the state's ability to invest in the fundamentals that ensure long-term growth.
  • And on jobs and unemployment, Jamar Thrasher blogged about a study showing the long-lasting damage a recession can have on young people unable to find their first job.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: Listen to Main Street, Tax Cuts Drive State Funding Gap and More on Federal Fiscal Debate

This week at Third and State, we blogged about how corporate tax cuts are contributing to a gap between state expenditures and revenues, an effort to get real small business voices heard in the federal fiscal debate, corporate tax subsidies run amok in the states, a fiscal cliff primer from Springfield's favorite CEO, C. Montgomery Burns, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • In response to the state's midyear budget briefing, Sharon Ward shared an infographic showing how unaffordable state business tax cuts are driving a gap between expenditures and revenues in the next budget.
  • On tax subsidies, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times report detailing the tax breaks and credits provided by state and local governments to businesses.
  • On federal taxes, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Main Street Alliance's efforts to get real small business voices heard in the federal fiscal debate. Mark Price wrote about the different priorities of Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators in addressing federal deficit reduction.
  • On the state budget and other policies, Mark Price blogged about editorial page assessments of Governor Tom Corbett's administration midway through his first term.
  • Finally, we had a Friday Funny featuring Mr. Burns of The Simpsons explaining the fiscal cliff.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Friday Funny: Mr. Burns Explains the Fiscal Cliff

A little fiscal cliff humor to take you into the weekend.

Third and State Recap: Ed Rendell at PBPC's 5th Anniversary, Promoting Renewable Energy in PA & Lottery Privatization

Over the past two weeks, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s 5th Anniversary, how Pennsylvania can be better positioned to capitalize on renewable energy, a proposal to privatize the state’s lottery and the October jobs numbers. Oh, and did we mention, former Governor Ed Rendell in a wig?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward reflected on five years of research and advocacy demystifying state budget and tax policies with the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Chris Lilienthal wrote that at the Center’s 5th Anniversary Luncheon on Friday, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun with Sharon when he debuted a new look (yes, a wig is involved).
  • On renewable energy, Stephen Herzenberg explained how Pennsylvania could position itself to be a national leader on wind and solar energy and what that could do for the commonwealth’s economy.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about the state’s October jobs report and why now would be a good time to invest in fixing infrastructure.
  • On privatization, Mark Price asked (tongue in cheek) what could go wrong with a plan to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery in light of news that the state received only one bid for the job.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a roundup of what awaits state and federal lawmakers in the coming weeks and in 2013.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: Growing Income Inequality, the Budget Outlook and PA's Private-sector Job Performance

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report on growing income inequality in Pennsylvania, the latest budget outlook from the Independent Fiscal Office, private-sector job growth and how little bang for the buck you get from tax cuts for top earners.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On income inequality, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute finding that income gaps widened in Pennsylvania between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s.
  • On the state budget, intern Ben Zurflieh wrote about a report from the Independent Fiscal Office estimating that state expenditures will outpace revenue collections significantly over the next five years.
  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg took a look at private-sector job growth in Pennsylvania to put some context to the claims of state House leaders.
  • And on the federal budget, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a Congressional Budget Office report and analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluding that the extension of high-income tax cuts would yield little economic growth in 2013.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Modest PA Revenue Growth Won’t Keep Pace with Costs in Years Ahead

By Ben Zurflieh, Intern

Growth in Pennsylvania’s revenue collections over the next five fiscal years is expected to be, in a word, “modest,” according to a five-year economic and budget outlook from the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). 

At a public briefing Thursday, analysts with the IFO said an aging Pennsylvania population, a slow-growing economy and the further erosion of the state’s corporate tax based are some of the reasons that revenue growth over the next five years is projected to be slow.

Third and State This Week: Taking Full Advantage of Health Reform, Poverty the Forgotten Issue & Tax Giveaways in PA

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the benefits of expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania, the absence of poverty in the national political debate, a state tax giveaway for a company whose CEO owns a Hawaiian island, and the latest on state revenue collections.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged that with the election decided it is clear that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. The question now is will some states squander an opportunity the law presents to cover millions of uninsured Americans.
  • On poverty, Jamar Thrasher highlighted an op-ed observing that poverty is one issue that has been conspicuously absent from the debate in the now completed elections.
  • On state taxes, Jamar Thrasher wrote that tax giveaways should not be handed out to companies whose CEOs are doing well enough to afford to buy a Hawaiian island.
  • And Michael Wood penned an update on Pennsylvania state revenue collections one-third the way through the 2012-13 fiscal year.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: The October No Surprise, Sizing Up Service Cuts, and Small Biz Owners Say End Top Tax Cuts

This week at Third and State, we blogged about U.S. job growth in October and what it means, how human service cuts are impacting the lives of Pennsylvanians, a poll showing a majority of small business owners support ending tax cuts for top earners, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about today's jobs report from the federal government signaling U.S. employment growth is back on track. Mark also delved further into the recent claim of a state official that the Marcellus Shale industry is bringing a "tsunami of jobs" to Pennsylvania.
  • On the state budget, Kate Atkins recapped a recent forum in Montgomery County where speakers testified to the importance of investing in prevention and community supports for people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse.
  • On federal budget and taxes, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new poll finding that a majority of small business owners support ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of earners. We also previewed a forum at Dickinson College in Carlisle next week featuring economist Dean Baker talking about the federal fiscal cliff.
  • And on voter ID, Jamar Thrasher wrote about advocates' concerns that ads in Pennsylvania are providing misleading information about voter ID in the upcoming election.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

The Fiscal Cliff: New Heights of Sensationalism

Dean BakerIn recent months, the media have frequently raised the specter of the federal government falling off the "fiscal cliff."

Next Wednesday evening, economist Dean Baker will take on the "fiscal cliff" in a talk at Dickinson College in Carlisle. If you plan to be in the Harrisburg-Carlisle area, come out and hear Dean explain why much of the discussion about "falling off the fiscal cliff" fundamentally misrepresents both the short- and long-term budget challenges we face as a nation.