Human Services

Third and State This Week: A Brighter Revenue Picture, Impact of Corporate Tax Cuts and Payday Lending

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new revenue report from the Independent Fiscal Office offering a more upbeat view of the economy moving forward, and the likely impact of a state House-approved bill to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade. We also posted Morning Must Reads on payday lending legislation and the economic cost of an asset test for Pennsylvanians in need of food assistance.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the Independent Fiscal Office's new report predicting a smaller revenue shortfall for the current year and more robust revenue collections for 2012-13. Mark Price also had analysis on the new revenue report, noting that state budget cuts have hurt job growth.
  • On tax policy, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the House's approval of a plan to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade without any commitment from businesses to put Pennsylvanians back to work. Sharon Ward shared her Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on this bill and a memo she sent to editors and reporters outlining her concerns with the bill.
  • Finally, Mark Price had Morning Must Reads on legislation in the state House to legalize payday loans charging upwards of 300% in annual percentage rates, and the lost economic activity from implementing an asset test for people receiving food stamps.

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

Morning Must Reads: Happy May Day, SNAP Asset Test to Cost PA $45 Million & Deaths from Falls

Happy International Workers Day! What's that, you ask? Historian Jacob Remes breaks it down for you.

This Week at Third and State: Corporate Tax Cuts, Payday Lending, More on Inequality and Food Stamp Challenge

This week at Third and State, we blogged about state legislation that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade, what inequality has to do with the funding of infrastructure, the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge, payday lenders eyeing a return to Pennsylvania, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward highlighted concerns about a state House bill that would cut corporate taxes by close to a billion dollars by the end of the decade.
  • On income inequality, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a recent op-ed connecting inequality with an underfunding of the nation's infrastructure. In Morning Must Reads on inequality, Mark Price shared a New York Times analysis on increasing income inequality in America and an editorial on the "festering problem" of exorbitant CEO pay.
  • On poverty and food assistance, Chris Lilienthal blogged about the Philadelphia Food Stamp Challenge going on this week and the importance of food assistance to Pennsylvania families struggling in this economy.
  • On the financial industry, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read highlighting news coverage of an effort by payday lenders to advance legislation in Pennsylvania allowing interest rates on short-term loans as high as 419%.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read on rising mortgage foreclosures and an effort to provide better disclosure of fees for 401K plans.

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

Enough to Eat?

As Mark Price blogged earlier this week, several Philadelphia area politicians are participating in a weeklong challenge to live on $5 a day worth of food. The protest has been prompted by the state's decision to cut off food stamps for people under 60 with more than $5,500 in cash or certain other assets; for those 60 and older, the threshold will be $9,000.

Morning Must Reads: Bribery, Inequality Explained, $30K Preschools and Balancing Paid and Unpaid Work

The New York Times on Sunday published a lengthy article detailing allegations that Wal-Mart executives allegedly violated a federal law that makes it a crime for American corporations and their subsidiaries to bribe foreign officials.

Morning Must Reads: Macho Macho Governors

The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer have stories on a Government Accountability Office report that disputes claims made by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to justify his cancelation of a tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.

Third and State This Week: Taking on Prevailing Wage, Loopholes vs. Budget Cuts and a Growing Menace

In a number of blog posts this week, we debunked the claims of advocates for repealing or scaling back the state's prevailing wage law. We also shared a chart comparing state tax breaks to budget cuts and posted a Friday Funny featuring the scariest movie trailer this year — on the growing menace of corporate tax loopholes.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and wages, Mark Price published Part 2 and Part 3 of his series fact-checking inaccurate claims about Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law. Part 1 ran last Friday. Mark also explained that to save 50% on public construction projects from repealing prevailing wage, workers would have to pay to work. Finally, Stephen Herzenberg made the case that employing low-wage, low-skill workers on small and medium-sized state-funded construction projects, with no benefit to taxpayers and negative impacts on local economies, is a dumb policy.
  • On the state budget, Chris Lilienthal shared a chart detailing funding cuts that could be restored by closing tax loopholes.
  • In the Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on young workers in the Great Recession; a profile of a pacemaker-dependent child who was denied health care by the state; and the fallout from cutting state support for pre-k and higher education.
  • And the Friday Funny featured a video from Ed Voters that begins: "There's a growing menace and it's coming after you and your family. The horror ... the corporate tax loophole!"

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

Morning Must Reads: Denying Poor Kids Health Care, Disenfranchising Voters and More Privatization

This morning’s news is decidedly unpleasant. The Philadelphia Daily News profiles a pacemaker-dependent child denied health care by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Morning Must Reads: Young Workers in the Great Recession, Gov. Targets Disabled and Pension Returns

The Philadelphia Inquirer has begun a series of reports on the impact of the Great Recession on young workers.  Here is a description of the series followed by a link to the first story in the series. Worth a read.

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