Links to My Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Activity

This is just my work and work to which I contributed. Where no author is indicated, I edited the paper and co-wrote it with PBPC staff. I. State Budget A. Policy briefs 1. Understanding the Numbers in a Budget Crisis, January 28 2. Governor’s 2016-17 Budget Overview, February 16 B. Advocacy papers on state budget […]

How Pennsylvania should not raise revenues this year

The proposals to raise taxes Pennsylvania legislators are considering this year are, to far too large an extent, not real, not recurring, and not fair. Here’s what’s wrong with the liquor, gaming, tax amnesty, and tobacco revenue ideas.

How Pennsylvania should raise revenues this year

Now that a general appropriation bill has been passed by the House and Senate, the General Assembly and the Governor are turning their attention to finding the revenue to pay for it. And they are running into difficulties both reaching agreement on tax revenues that are real, recurring, and fair. But the PBPC-Senator Haywood proposal to slightly raise taxes on income from wealth meets all three criteria.

The Emperor's new liquor stores

The Emperor’s new liquor stores

Originally published at Third and State, June 28, 2016 Act 39 flew through the House of Representatives and was signed by Governor Wolf too fast for us, and many others, to object. If we had a chance, we would have pointed out, as the IFO did soon after passage, that the estimates of new revenue […]

School funding: what one hand gives another one takes away

School funding: what one hand gives another one takes away

Originally posted at Third and State, June 29, 2016 As this dispiriting budget season ends, advocates for education could at least be grateful that the General Assembly seems poised to increase basic education funding by $200 million. This is far less than the $400 million necessary to put us on a path towards overcoming massive […]

Revenue options real and fake: a minimum wage increase and gaming

Revenue options real and fake: a minimum wage increase and gaming

Originally posted at Third and State. Ten years ago was the last time Pennsylvania raised the minimum wage in advance of the federal government doing so. In those ten years, inflation has reduced the value of the minimum wage to a poverty wage. That’s why it’s time to raise it again, ultimately to $15 an […]

White Male Rage and Trump’s Appeal

The appeal of Trump is no surprise to anyone who interacts with right wingers on Facebook. Every day I see the casual racism and sexism, the hatred of immigrants and foreigners, the endless repetition of right wing talking points that have no relationship to fact, the lack of any genuine concern for anyone who has […]

Some things are worse than a late budget

Some things are worse than a late budget

From the Third and State blog. As the June 30th deadline looms, we have little more than rumors about what kind of Pennsylvania budget might be enacted by the General Assembly for 2016-17. But while some may find optimism in talk of getting the budget done, the rumors we are hearing about the details of […]

How Bernie could have run better

Bernie had run a campaign that attacked Republicans for creating the horrible economic inequality we have today, instead of attacking Democrats for it, I think he would have had a much better chance to be the nominee. A lot of us who have worked for economic (and racial and gender) equality over the years wanted […]

Campaign contributions and the gun control issue

Here is a good exercise for those of you who think campaign contributions are the most important barrier to progressive legislation. How many of you would not vote for a candidate who agreed with you about everything else if they were wrong about gun control? How many of you would not vote for a candidate […]

Why Philly needs the sugary drink tax

Why Philly needs the sugary drink tax

Originally appeared on the Third and State Blog on May 25, 2016 As we move closer to a City Council vote on the sugary drink tax proposal, I want to offer some final thoughts about the idea and correct some misapprehensions about it: 1.While the tax itself is regressive, and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy […]