Friday Funny

Memory Lane -- Larry Summers on Why Some People Mow Lawns and Others Don't

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While searching for something else online, I just tripped over a letter to the editor from 1988. The letter was published during the 1988 presidential campaign, in response to a New York Times profile of the economists' advising George H.W. Bush ("Poppy") and Michael Dukakis ("Tankman").
 
Larry Summers was the economist advising Mr. Dukakis. The profile of Prof.

The sincerest, sincerest form of flattery

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - then plagiarism must take flattery to a whole new level of sincerity. So the Center for Budget and Policies Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, DC must really be feeling the sincere love from Maine Governor Paul LaPage. According to news reports, the governor awarded the Alexander Group a $925,000 no-bid contract to do a report on the performance of Maine’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. When the report was turned in, however, it contained sections, some as long as two full pages, which were lifted directly from the work of CBPP.

Third and State This Week: Listen to Main Street, Tax Cuts Drive State Funding Gap and More on Federal Fiscal Debate

This week at Third and State, we blogged about how corporate tax cuts are contributing to a gap between state expenditures and revenues, an effort to get real small business voices heard in the federal fiscal debate, corporate tax subsidies run amok in the states, a fiscal cliff primer from Springfield's favorite CEO, C. Montgomery Burns, and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • In response to the state's midyear budget briefing, Sharon Ward shared an infographic showing how unaffordable state business tax cuts are driving a gap between expenditures and revenues in the next budget.
  • On tax subsidies, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times report detailing the tax breaks and credits provided by state and local governments to businesses.
  • On federal taxes, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Main Street Alliance's efforts to get real small business voices heard in the federal fiscal debate. Mark Price wrote about the different priorities of Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators in addressing federal deficit reduction.
  • On the state budget and other policies, Mark Price blogged about editorial page assessments of Governor Tom Corbett's administration midway through his first term.
  • Finally, we had a Friday Funny featuring Mr. Burns of The Simpsons explaining the fiscal cliff.

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

Friday Funny: Mr. Burns Explains the Fiscal Cliff

A little fiscal cliff humor to take you into the weekend.

Third and State This Week: Confusion About Voter ID, Payday Lending in the Senate and Poverty-wage Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report on the Voter ID Law, a bill to legalize high-interest payday lending now before the state Senate, poverty-wage jobs in Pennsylvania, and much more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On voter ID, Sharon Ward blogged about a new report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on confusion surrounding the new law among PennDOT staff and voters alike. You can check out PBPC's full report here.
  • On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about legislation before the Senate to legalize payday loans with annual interest rates of 369%. He also explained that the writer of a letter to the editor in the Patriot-News supportive of the bill forgot to mention her group represents payday lenders.
  • On economic development, Mark Price wrote about local incentives in a Tennessee town intended to lure web developers.
  • On poverty, Mark Price reported that about 24% of Pennsylvania workers earned poverty wages in 2011.
  • On monetary policy, Mark Price highlighted two views on what the Federal Reserve can do to boost the economy. 
  • On education, Mark Price shared an Allentown Morning Call column offering a midterm report card on Governor Corbett's education policies.
  • And in a Friday Funny, we bring you an article by the satirical newspaper The Onion on how voter suppression in Pennsylvania isn't as fun as it used to be. 

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

Friday Funny: Voter ID and Mosquito Hunting

This comes to us via Twitter from Dr. Chris Hughes, a critical care and hospice physician in Pittsburgh and the state director of Doctors for America. He likens the state's new Voter ID Law to Monty Python's rather enthusiastic mosquito hunters. Watch the clip and tell us what you think.

Friday Funny: Mitch Who Wants to Pay No Taxes

Mitch wants to pay no taxes, just like GE, but sadly his accountant tells him no dice. Mitch responds: "So you are telling me that if I am not General Electric and not Mitt Romney and just Mitch, the shoe store manager, I have to pay more taxes than Warren Buffett?"

Sit back for three minutes and enjoy this funny little cartoon from the good folks at Citizens for Tax Justice.

Friday Funny: A Growing Menace

Ed Voters has one of the scariest movie trailers this year. Problem is, it's not a movie. It's reality.

There's a growing menace and it's coming after you and your family. The horror ... the corporate tax loophole! 

Check out the full video. Fair warning: It's rated R for "Ridiculous" and is unsuitable for children and the middle class.

Almost-Friday Funny: A Little Turbulence at the Capitol

We learned this week that more cuts to health care and education could be on the way in 2012, and yet some state House lawmakers want to give a new costly tax break to the lucky few in the market for a private jet.

I wrote about this earlier in the week after the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center released an analysis of the tax break legislation. Our friends at Keystone Progress and the CLEAR Coalition hosted a "billionaires' news conference" at the state Capitol to draw some attention to this troubling proposal.

Third and State This Week: No Marcellus Shale Fee in 2011, Extended Unemployment at Risk and PA gets a D

This week, we blogged about a new report on economic development subsidies in Pennsylvania, the economic harm that ending extended unemployment insurance for 281,000 jobless Pennsylvanians will have, and the latest on the debate over enacting a Marcellus Shale drilling fee.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On economic development, Chris Lilienthal shared the results of a national study by Good Jobs First that ranked the 50 states' economic development subsidy programs based on job creation requirements and wage standards for workers at subsidized companies. Pennsylvania came in 40th.  
  • On the Marcellus Shale, Michael Wood blogged about 2011 ending as the last two years have — without a Marcellus Shale drilling tax or fee for Pennsylvania.
  • On unemployment, Sean Brandon laid out the facts supporting the extension of emergency federal unemployment insurance. With the average duration of joblessness among Americans at an all-time high, now is not the time for Congress to turn its backs on the unemployed. 
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price highlighted news stories discussing the safety issues of Marcellus drilling and the foreclosure crisis in the midstate

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

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