The State System of Higher Education: Pennsylvania’s Mobility Workhorses

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Pennsylvania’s 14 State System of Higher Education Universities are instrumental to economic opportunity in Pennsylvania. They afford a large number of middle- and working-class Pennsylvanians an affordable shot at the American Dream of upward mobility.

Our analysis of data from the Mobility Report Cards finds that 41% of State System students from 1999 to 2004 were working-class students with family incomes that placed them in the bottom 60% of households. As a point of comparison, in the state’s 10 most elite universities just 18% of students come from the bottom 60% (more than 2/3 come from the top 20%).

MEMO: Effects of U.S. Senate Health Care Bill on Pennsylvania

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MEMO

To: Interested Parties

From: Marc Stier, Director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

Date: June 28, 2017

Re: Effects of U.S. Senate Health Care Bill on Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will be releasing a number of briefs on the effects of the U.S. Senate health care bill in the next few days. You can see our initial statement in response to the CBO scoring of the bill here. Below is our first brief on the effects of the bill on Pennsylvania.

STATEMENT: PBPC On the CBO Report for the Senate Health Care Bill

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Marc Stier, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement following today's release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the U.S. Senate GOP Health Care Bill (Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017)

It’s official — the Senate health care bill is not an improvement but actually worse for Americans than the House bill. The CBO analysis released today holds that 22 million fewer Americans will be insured in 2026 as a result of the Better Care Reconciliation Act. That is slightly better than the House bill.

Which Direction for America? What's at Stake in the Health Care Debate?

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One of the fascinating / distressing things about the health care debate on Facebook is that it's bringing the truth out in a way that the debate in the Senate is not.

If you have any doubt that this is a inflection point in our history, in which the forces of tolerance, compassion and justice are arrayed against the forces of bigotry, greed, and injustice, look at what the opponents of the ACA are saying.

Guest Blog Post from Kristen Dama: Why We Can't Go Back to Life Before the ACA

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Kristen Dama is an attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. She works on human service issues. This moving story of what life was like before the ACA tells us why it is so important to save it. If you want to really help, contact Robin Stelly at [email protected] and tell her you want to join a phone bank to help contact Senators who may be convinced to vote against the legislation that repeals the ACA and devastates Medicaid.

Guest Blog Post from Det Ansinn: Why Businesses Need the ACA

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Republicans often talk about the burdens of the ACA on business. So we thought it might be useful to hear from a real businessman about whether the ACA helps or hurts his business. Det Ansinn is a software engineer and entrepreneur who founded his software development company BrickSimple in 2002. It is based in Doylestown, PA, and has offices in three other states and employes over 50 people. BrickSimple creates innovative software for mobile applications.

Pennsylvanians Ask PA Congressional Delegation to Reject Inhumane Cuts to Vital Federal Budget Programs

Nearly 70 Pennsylvania organizations signed on to the letter below asking members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to reject inhumane cuts to vital federal government programs:
 
To The Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation: 
  
President Trump’s budget features deep cuts in assistance that helps struggling families afford the basics – food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care – as well as stunning cuts in a range of basic public services and investments in our nation, such as job training, K-12 education, access to college, scientific research, and economic development. At the same time, the President has called for massive tax cuts that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest households and corporations.

Apprenticeship Weak: Trump proposal fails to tap into apprenticeship’s potential

This piece was originally posted on the Economic Policy Institute's Working Economics Blog here: http://www.epi.org/blog/trump-apprenticeship-proposal

Everyone loves apprenticeships (including me) as a basic model for learning work-related skills, but for the most part, policymakers don’t think very hard about why there’s so little apprenticeship in the United States. For that reason, we’re likely to continue talking about how great apprenticeship is but not making significant investments in it. President Trump’s underwhelming plan to expand apprenticeships, unveiled this past week, won’t change that. His initiative will add $100 million (less than a dollar per U.S. worker) to the budget for apprenticeship and give employers more flexibility (i.e., unilateral control without objective oversight or minimum standards) in structuring new apprenticeships, but does little to address the underlying reasons why the United States lags behind our peers when it comes to apprenticeships.

A Severance Tax: The Basics

Pennsylvania has been considering a severance tax on natural gas for years. Here are four reasons it is long overdue: 

TALKING POINT #1: A severance tax can bring in substantial and, as natural gas prices rise, growing revenues to help close our budget and investment deficits now and in the future.

Governor Wolf’s proposal is projected to bring in $349 million next year, $712 million in 2018-2019 and $1.15 billion a year by 2021-22. (These are net revenues after deducting a credit for the impact fee already paid by natural gas drillers.) Even a tax at slightly lower levels brings in over $200 million next year and close to a billion dollars a year 2021-2022.

What is the Fair Share Tax?

The main reason that Pennsylvania’s tax system is so upside down — with the top 1% paying only 4.3% of their income in taxes while the middle 20% pays 10% — is that the Pennsylvania Constitution prohibits us from enacting a graduated personal income tax. Sales and property taxes tend to take a higher percentage of the income of taxpayers at the bottom and in the middle than at the top. But graduated income taxes in many states — including all of our neighbors — compensate by taxing those at the top at a higher rate.
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