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.

Great Recession Took a Toll on Youth Employment

A first job is a milestone that too many young people today are not reaching, and it could reduce their earnings throughout their careers, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Great Recession is a major culprit, as more youth are competing with out-of-work adults for a limited number of jobs.

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 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.

How About Some Real Solutions to Problems that Do Exist?

With Governor Tom Corbett's first term approaching the halfway point, the editorial pages are settling in on a theme for their assessments of the administration's performance over the last year: not a lot of action on important issues.

Unaffordable Tax Cuts Drive State Funding Gap

Hundreds of millions of dollars in new business tax cuts enacted over the past two years are a major contributing factor to the gap between revenue and expenditures highlighted by Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles Zogby during his midyear budget briefing today. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center sums it up for you in the handy infographic below. You can also check out our statement on the midyear briefing here.

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.

Morning Must Reads: Different Priorities For Different Senators

Proposals to avert the fiscal cliff shouldn't increase poverty or inequality or slow the economic recovery. Those simple common-sense principles appear to be gaining increasing visibility and support, which is the best news this morning.

Morning Must Reads: Corporate Tax Subsidies Run Amok and Fiscal Cliff Armageddon!

Dirty HippieI'm back, and that is completely unrelated to the fact that the blog in my absence featured people with bad wigs.

On Sunday, The New York Times launched the series The United States of Subsidies, which details the tax breaks and credits given out by state and local governments to businesses. Below you will find a link to the opening story, today's entry on Texas and finally a link to Pennsylvania data.

Third and State Recap: Ed Rendell at PBPC's 5th Anniversary, Promoting Renewable Energy in PA & Lottery Privatization

Over the past two weeks, we blogged about the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s 5th Anniversary, how Pennsylvania can be better positioned to capitalize on renewable energy, a proposal to privatize the state’s lottery and the October jobs numbers. Oh, and did we mention, former Governor Ed Rendell in a wig?


  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward reflected on five years of research and advocacy demystifying state budget and tax policies with the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Chris Lilienthal wrote that at the Center’s 5th Anniversary Luncheon on Friday, former Governor Ed Rendell had a little fun with Sharon when he debuted a new look (yes, a wig is involved).
  • On renewable energy, Stephen Herzenberg explained how Pennsylvania could position itself to be a national leader on wind and solar energy and what that could do for the commonwealth’s economy.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about the state’s October jobs report and why now would be a good time to invest in fixing infrastructure.
  • On privatization, Mark Price asked (tongue in cheek) what could go wrong with a plan to privatize the Pennsylvania lottery in light of news that the state received only one bid for the job.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a roundup of what awaits state and federal lawmakers in the coming weeks and in 2013.

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

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