Education Love Fest Starts, But Is It The Real Thing?

In the weeks leading up to the release of a proposed state budget in February, governors typically schedule photo ops to announce some new budget initiative popular with the public. This signals the administration’s priorities, keeps the good news from getting lost in the overall budget story, and builds up political capital for the budget fight ahead.

It's Great to Have Gas

Posted in:

A new report out from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University gives Pennsylvania low marks for its finances, placing it 42nd nationally in overall fiscal condition and 47th in cash solvency.

The report also provides new evidence that it is great to have gas (and oil) — if you tax it appropriately.

Don't Give Up The Fight

Posted in:

With the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty at hand, it is a good time to reflect on just how much of a positive impact President Lyndon B. Johnson’s landmark initiative has had in reducing poverty in the U.S.

The 1960s effort created the modern day safety net for working families, started important initiatives like college aid that boosted college access for a generation and expanded health coverage through Medicaid and Medicare.

Observers on the right have tried to argue that these initiatives have been unsuccessful and that we ought to give up.

State Revenue Collections Still on Track, but Revenue Surplus Is Now Gone

Halfway through the state's fiscal year, General Fund revenues are right on target — exceeding official estimates by a scant $2 million, or 0.02%. Tax and other collections in December came in $40 million, or 1.7%, below the monthly target, largely erasing the modest revenue surplus that had been generated so far.

One month of poorer-than-expected collections should not raise too many alarms, but we will be watching January closely. Another sub-par month of collections could mean trouble as the 2014-15 budget negotiations get under way early next month.

More Economy Boosting Jobs, Less Austerity

How do we get our economy growing more robustly again? It's not through austerity — cutting government spending and investment when private consumption and investment are already lagging — as Paul Krugman reminds us again today.

It is through "economy boosting jobs" — raising wages so that working families can buy what they need and help their communities thrive. Here's a simple video (also below) explaining this point, circulated to us from the good folks at Topos.

Mid-Year Budget Update - 2013-14 on Track but Prepare for a Rough 2014-15 Budget

This morning, Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles Zogby gave the Corbett Administration's take on the 2013-14 state budget at mid-year.

A Growing Movement to Provide Earned Sick Leave Could Be Quashed in PA

Posted in:

Earlier today I blogged about legislation in Pennsylvania that would prevent city and local governments from ensuring private-sector workers receive paid time off when they get sick — and why that is bad for Pennsylvania’s workers, economy, public health, and democracy.

This bill is being pushed in the state capital in response to a recent Philadelphia effort to enact an earned sick leave law that passed City Council but was vetoed by Mayor Michael Nutter.

PA Should Not Pre-Empt Progress on Earned Sick Leave

Posted in:

State Representative Seth Grove of York County and business lobbyists want Pennsylvania to be the latest state to pass a law stopping city and local governments from ensuring private-sector workers receive paid time off when they get sick.

A $15-Per-Hour Fast-Food Wage Gets the Time of Day

The second in an occasional series on reducing inequality

In the first post in this series, I suggested that American elite opinion might actually be swinging towards the need to take some long-overdue — and obvious — steps to reduce inequality, including raising area-wide wages in low-paid service industries through policy or by allowing workers to form area-wide labor unions.

Are Economic Elites Awaking to the Need to Do Something About Inequality?

The first in an occasional series on reducing inequality

Are American opinion leaders and policymakers finally ready for a serious effort to reduce economic inequality and rebuild opportunity in America?

In a series of blog posts, we will point to growing evidence that they might be, thanks to a powerful mix of unrelenting data on economic polarizations and worker campaigns demanding a change. Better late than never.

In this first entry, I want to set up the series with some context.

Syndicate content