Philadelphia

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 […]

Those feeling brunt of the soda tax will also feel benefits

Originally published as Those feeling brunt of soda tax will also feel benefits, Philadelphia Daily News, April 19, 2016 THE SUGARY-DRINK tax proposed by Mayor Kenney, also known as the “soda tax,” is controversial because it takes a greater share of the income from poor families than rich ones. And since we at the Pennsylvania Budget […]

For City Commissioner: Carol Jenkins and Lisa Deeley

Two candidates for City Commissioner stand far above all the others. Carol Jenkins and Lisa Deeley. City Commissioner is one of those row offices that carries out a really important function that is utterly unknown to most people. The City Commissioners are responsible for making sure that the machinery of our elections—from the books that […]

Jim Kenney, with pleasure.

I’m going to vote for Jim Kenney for Mayor next week. One reason, as I wrote earlier in the week, is to stop the Four Billionaires from electing a Mayor. But there is another reason as well. I think he could be a really good mayor. That he’s even running tells you a lot about […]

Council at Large Choices

Here’s why I’m voting for Sherrie Cohen, Helen Gym, Bill Greenlee, Wilson Goode, and Derek Green for City Council at Large We have, it seems, almost an embarrassment of good candidates for Council at Large this year including both challengers and incumbents. But look closely and a few stand out above the others, not just […]

PGW, Darrell Clarke, and the Papers

In a city that, despite its recent growth, has a poverty rate of 30.2% and schools that have been devastated by deep budget cuts, our two daily newspapers are now crusading to….sell the gas works. In a city that has suffered from a governor who demanded those education cuts and a mayor who was ineffective […]

A last word on the Controller’s race

The response to our letter on Brett Mandel has been predictable, and for the most part good. Many progressives who have shared our qualms about Brett have come out and taken a public position. And many of those progressives who support Brett have denounced us for joining a “ward leader, party hack” who is backed […]

My Brett Mandel Problem–and Ours.

Political life is sometimes difficult, especially when friendship and ideology come into conflict. I made a difficult decision the other day, to sign a statement opposing Brett Mandel’s candidacy for City Controller. Elections are blunt instruments for expressing one’s preferences because multiple concerns come into play when we decide for whom to vote. And that’s […]

What’s the rush? Save the Cohen wage tax rebate!

One of the last accomplishments of long time progressive Councilmember David Cohen—a rebate on the wage tax for those with low incomes—may be repealed tomorrow. It shouldn’t be. There are good policy arguments both for and against the wage tax rebate. I’ll come to some of them in a moment. But, frankly, at the moment […]

AVI without tears

I have an op-ed in today’s Daily News about AVI. I think the argument there is correct, but it is highly compressed. I’ve tried to set out my argument at a little greater length here. (Note that in the op-ed and in this piece I made a mistake and said that AVI shifts the tax […]