Federal Budget and Taxes

Third and State This Week: Closing Loopholes on Tax Day, Angry Shareholders and PA Job Numbers

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a call to close tax loopholes on Tax Day, shareholders unhappy with big CEO paydays, Equal Pay Day, new state job numbers and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On tax and budget issues, Chris Lilienthal highlighted where our tax dollars are invested, while Sharon Ward blogged about a Tax Day call to close corporate tax loopholes in Harrisburg. Chris also passed on the Top 10 Tax Facts from Demos and The American Prospect.
  • On income inequality, Michael Wood wrote about a couple of recent instances of CEOs being taken to task by shareholders over excessive pay.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price broke down the new Pennsylvania job numbers, and told us all about Equal Pay Day.
  • Finally, on higher education, Mark blogged about news stories on falling state support for higher ed and rising student loan debt.

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

Think You Know a Lot about Federal Taxes?

Taxes MatterThe good folks at The American Prospect and Demos have been making a compelling case for tax reform with a series of blog posts over the past week. It is a must read for anyone who cares about improving tax fairness.

This Tax Day, Say No to Loopholes

It's that time of year again — time to file your state and federal tax returns. At the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's web site, we have a resource page showing you how your tax dollars are spent and why closing tax loopholes is such a big priority.

Federal taxes finance various public services, including Social Security, national defense and health care services, as the chart to the right from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities illustrates.

Third and State This Week: Better Budget Choices, Income Inequality After the Recession & the Minimum Wage

This week at Third and State, we blogged about March state revenues and better budget choices, income inequality in the wake of the recession, efforts to raise the minimum wage, and much more. Plus an early Tax Day Friday Funny.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Michael Wood wrote about some hopeful news in the March revenue collections, and Chris Lilienthal shared an op-ed by the co-chairs of Better Choices for Pennsylvania calling on lawmakers to close loopholes and delay unaffordable tax cuts before making more cuts that hurt children and families.
  • On income inequality, intern Jheanelle Chambers blogged about an eye-popping chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that in 2009, despite the weak economy, the top 1% of households captured $1.32 trillion in gross income while the bottom 50% earned $1.06 trillion.
  • In a Morning Must Read on jobs and wages, Mark Price blogged that it is time to get serious about raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania and the nation.
  • In other Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on the challenges facing young workers in this economy; macho governors; and why women tend to be hurt more than men by public-sector job cuts.
  • And the Friday Funny featured a video from Citizens for Tax Justice on Mitch, a shoe store manager who wants to pay no taxes like GE.

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

Friday Funny: Mitch Who Wants to Pay No Taxes

Mitch wants to pay no taxes, just like GE, but sadly his accountant tells him no dice. Mitch responds: "So you are telling me that if I am not General Electric and not Mitt Romney and just Mitch, the shoe store manager, I have to pay more taxes than Warren Buffett?"

Sit back for three minutes and enjoy this funny little cartoon from the good folks at Citizens for Tax Justice.

Lunch Time Must Reads: Gender, Employment and the Public Sector

Catherine Rampell at The New York Times explores recent claims made in the Presidential campaign about job loss by gender.

A Recovery for the 1%

By Jheanelle Chambers, Intern

Even in a Down Year, Top 1% Have More Total Income Than Bottom 50 Percent CombinedWhile many middle-class Americans are still struggling in a down economy, the 1% is doing quite well.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has an eye-popping chart (right) showing that in 2009, despite the weak economy, the top 1% of households captured $1.32 trillion in gross income while the bottom 50% earned $1.06 trillion.

Third and State This Week: Being Fair to Business, Prevailing Wage Facts and a Little Health Care Irony

This week at Third and State, we fact-checked inaccurate claims on prevailing wage and blogged about closing corporate tax loopholes, growing the state's budget pie and an irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Plus a recap of what leading economists had to say about the February job numbers and, of course, the Morning Must Reads.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price posted the first of a three-part series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. The other two posts will be published on Monday and Tuesday.
  • On state budget and taxes, Sharon Ward shared her Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter to the editor saying that to be truly fair to all businesses Pennsylvania needs to close corporate tax loopholes. Chris Lilienthal highlighted an event this week in Harrisburg that featured pie and a "close the loopholes" message for lawmakers.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal shared an editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News noting a little irony in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
  • With the national jobs report for March due out next week, intern Jheanelle Chambers recapped what D.C.’s leading economists had to say about the February job numbers.
  • And in the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on massive public-sector job losses after the 2010 election, articles on accounting scandals and differing views of how to rebuild the economy, and stories on pensions and crony capitalism. Finally, Chris Lilienthal highlighted news stories on the likely impact of proposed state cuts to health care and other services, including treatment for people trying to overcome addiction.

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

A Ringing Irony

As Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act wind down today, I found this editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News particularly interesting:

The ringing irony about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act is that the law’s core principles were all, originally, conservative. And when they were first promoted, almost no one said they were unconstitutional. ...

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