Posts by chris lilienthal

Mayors Ask Congress to Enact Deficit Plan that Keeps Cities Strong

Federal deficit reduction must include significant new revenue so that Pennsylvania cities, their residents and local economies can thrive again.

This was a critical point made by several Pennsylvania mayors during a conference call with reporters this week focused on what is at stake for cities in a federal deficit plan. The call was organized by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Listen to Main Street in Federal Tax Debate

You hear about small business quite a bit in the debate over extending federal tax cuts for upper income earners, even though the vast majority of small business owners do not benefit from those top tax cuts. Only 3% of taxpayers with business income above $250,000 would be impacted if tax cuts for top earners expired next year.

Governor Ed Rendell in a Moe Wig. For Real.

Gov. Ed Rendell in a wigAt the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's 5th Anniversary luncheon today, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun at the expense of Director Sharon Ward. The Philadelphia Daily News' Chris Brennan sums it up nicely below. Click on the photo to the right for a larger view at PBPC's Facebook page.

Pulling Apart: Income Inequality Has Grown in PA

Income inequality has grown in all parts of the country since the late 1970s, and Pennsylvania has not been immune to the trend, as a new national study out today shows.

A joint effort of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, the study finds that income gaps widened in Pennsylvania between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, with earnings for low-income families dropping as the income of the wealthiest continued to rise.

Tax Cuts for the Top Offer Little Bang for the Buck

Extending High-Income Tax Cuts a Poor Way to Support the RecoveryBetween now and January, Congress will develop a long-term solution to the nation’s deficit. One of the proposals on the table is to allow tax cuts enacted more than a decade ago under President George W. Bush to expire for high-income earners.

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report finds that extending most of the expiring tax cuts — but not those for high-income earners — will boost gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.3%. Extending the tax cuts on top earners yields a much smaller return on investment, boosting GDP by only 0.1%.

Will Pennsylvania Take Full Advantage of Health Reform?

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With the election decided, it is now clear that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. That’s great news for Pennsylvanians, some of whom have already begun to benefit from the health reform law, and many others who will see more gains as major provisions take effect in 2014.

Small Biz Owners Support Ending Top Tax Cuts, Poll Finds

A majority of small business owners agree that ending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of earners is the right course for the nation, according to a new poll from the Small Business Majority.

The poll reflects a pragmatic spirit among small business owners, with nearly 6 in 10 saying that government can play a productive role in helping small businesses thrive. 

A Pensions Debate in Bucks County

Stephen Herzenberg of the Keystone Research Center squared off with Rick Dreyfuss of the Commonwealth Foundation Thursday night on the topic of public employee pensions. As the Bucks County Intelligencer wrote, the audience at the pensions forum in Doylestown was solidly on Steve's side.

Add Your Voice to Those Opposing Payday Lending in PA

A bill to legalize high-interest payday loans in Pennsylvania stalled this week after a bipartisan group of state senators took a look at the plan and said no way. The Harrisburg Patriot-News was on top of the story:

Must Watch: MSNBC Highlights Voter ID Confusion in PA

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Last week, we told you about a new Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center report on flaws in the state's implementation of the Voter ID Law. On Saturday, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry highlighted the report in a segment on voter ID in Pennsylvania. Watch the short clip below. If you're craving more, click on the video to link to a longer 12-minute segment on voter ID laws across the country.