Regulations

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.

Morning Must Reads: Asset Test Snark, School Police and Property Taxes

Lancaster Rep. Mike Sturla was quoted in Capitolwire (paywall) on a Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) proposal to limit access to SNAP, or food stamp, benefits to households with fewer than $5,500 in assets:

"We're going to take the concept of the safety net and flip it and tell people they have to impoverish themselves before they get the benefits."

This quote caught the eye of the Commonwealth Foundation's Nathan Benefield.

Morning Must Reads: New Year, Same Old Economic Austerity

From November 2009 to November 2010, Pennsylvania added 63,300 jobs. From November 2010 to November 2011, the state added just 51,000.

Wait, isn't that backwards? Nope. A weak economy, the end of federal Recovery Act funds and state budget cuts slowed the pace of Pennsylvania job growth in the most recent year.

Third and State This Week: Economic Mobility, Budgetary Freeze and Regulations

This week, we blogged about a $157 million midyear budgetary freeze, intergenerational mobility in the U.S. and false claims about the impact of regulations on jobs and the economy.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On income inequality, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times story this week providing fresh evidence that there is less intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S. than in Europe.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward wrote about a $157 million state spending freeze announced by the Corbett administration this week, marking the fifth straight year of cuts to health care, education and human services in Pennsylvania.
  • Responding to false claims about jobs and regulations, Stephen Herzenberg cited a former Reagan/Bush official who has written that “no hard evidence is offered” for the claim that new regulations are holding back investment and job creation:
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price highlighted news stories discussing the gender pay gap and a report linking Chesapeake Bay cleanup to job creation.
  • And finally, congratulation to Mark Price, named one of 2011's most influential voices in business by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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

More on Regulations and Jobs

On Wednesday, WITF’s Radio Smart Talk hosted two anti-regulation advocates to explain why regulations are, well, bad. The listeners of the show who called in did a good job underscoring the critical importance of effective regulation and exposing the lack of evidence for the views of the show’s guests.

I tried to call in myself, but time ran out before I could join the discussion. Had my call been taken, I would have pointed listeners to the writing of Bruce Bartlett, a former high-level policy person in the Reagan and Bush administrations. In a column tellingly entitled “Misrepresentations, Regulations, and Jobs,” Bartlett points out that “no hard evidence is offered” for the claim that new regulations are holding back investment and job creation: “it is simply asserted as self-evident and repeated endlessly throughout the conservative echo chamber.”

Morning Must Reads: Hard Bargaining in Philadelphia and Regulation

Talk about hard bargaining. The Philadelphia School District's New Year offer in negotiations over a new contract for support staff includes layoff notices to all of the bus drivers and janitors the school district now employs unless the union agrees to $16 million in wage concessions. You, the bus drivers and janitors all remember this is the same district that offered up a CEO style golden parachute of nearly $1 million to former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

Morning Must Reads: Regulations and Jobs

Bruce Bartlett, former advisor to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has a column in the Economix blog at The New York Times this morning with compelling fresh evidence (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) that job creation is not hampered by regulation but, you guessed it, a lack of demand.

Also this morning, as if on cue, news stories appeared about the movement Monday of bills to weaken Pennsylvania's prevailing wage statute. The Pennsylvania House majority leader called the current prevailing wage statute a "job-crushing" law — without actually providing any evidence, naturally.

This week is off to a great start! Monday we demonize the unemployed and Tuesday it is all about regulation. I can't wait for Wednesday.

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