State Tax Cuts Take a Bite Out of Pennsylvania’s Budget Pie

By: Wednesday March 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Advocates delivered half a pie to every Pennsylvania legislator Tuesday. Why half a pie?

To remind them that a decade of large tax cuts for businesses has left schools, health care services, and local communities with a smaller share of the state budget pie.

ALEC Policies Sell ‘Snake Oil to the States’

By: Tuesday February 19, 2013 6:32 pm

Three national organizations offered a scathing criticism of policies endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, in a conference call with reporters last week. Their findings strike a stake in the heart of ALEC claims that its view of the world — lower taxes, fewer workplace protections, and diminished public investments — is good for the public.

Pennsylvania Tax Giveaways and an Island in the Sun

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 2:29 pm

A few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania General Assembly fast-tracked a bill in the waning days of the legislative session to allow certain private companies to keep most of the state income taxes of new employees. News reports to follow indicated the new tax giveaway was designed to lure California-based software firm Oracle to State College.

Well, it turns out the CEO of Oracle, which will benefit from the largess of Pennsylvania taxpayers, recently bought his very own Hawaiian island, as CNN reported back in June.

The Human Cost of Eliminating General Assistance in Pennsylvania

By: Tuesday July 10, 2012 9:15 am

Since the Great Depression, Pennsylvania has had a General Assistance (GA) program — a small cash benefit that serves as a bridge to self-sufficiency for the temporarily disabled and for victims of domestic violence and addicts seeking help to turn their lives around. Until late last month when state lawmakers adopted a new budget.

Piecing Together the PA Budget Framework

By: Sunday June 24, 2012 5:00 pm

Some details emerged about the state budget framework unveiled midweek by Governor Tom Corbett and legislative leaders, but questions still remain.

News Roundup from June 3, 2012

By: Monday June 4, 2012 6:20 am

Fatster’s news roundup from the June 3, 2012, including weekend stories about, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Mark Kirk, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, state budgets, Paul Krugman, Federal Reserve, corporate profits, Politifact, John Paul Stevens, Hillary Clinton, MERS, George Zimmerman, and much more.

Despite Union Busting and Budget Cuts, Still the Teachers Teach

By: Saturday February 26, 2011 9:00 am

In one of the local Kansas City area school districts, a proposed levy increase that would have put an end to three years of major budget cuts failed, and so the cuts continue even as enrollment rises. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, cuts are driven not so much by the economy but by union-busting politicians. Elsewhere in the US, teacher layoffs are being announced. ‘Tis the season . . .

And yet, despite all this, the teachers still teach.

I am so grateful for those who taught me, and even today I am still realizing just how much of a gift they gave me.

Dear America: You and Your Future Are Under Siege

By: Thursday February 17, 2011 3:50 pm

Decades ago, when we understood we were at war, the ratio of government debt to the economy was vastly larger than it is today. We used deficit spending to win the war and save the economy. Yet we defeated the world’s most evil regimes and emerged as the strongest nation in the world. Despite that debt, or actually because of the foundations it set, we embarked on one of the greatest, most broadly shared expansions of human prosperity in history. Today’s nihilist coalition doesn’t want you to know that.

State Budget Cuts: Starting at the Top

By: Monday February 7, 2011 2:10 pm

State budget problems are due to the bursting of a bubble fueled by Wall Street greed and incompetent economic policy. Since the problems originated at the top, we should make those at the top pay the tab, not ordinary workers.

90 Ballot Questions Certified in 31 Statewide Ballots for 2010

By: Wednesday March 31, 2010 9:15 am

As political candidates of both major parties continue to underwhelm as potential “agents of change,” ballot initiatives grow more interesting. According to BallotPedia, 90 ballot questions have been certified for 2010 spots in 31 sates. They estimate that if 2010 is an average year, another 130-140 will ultimately qualify. What measures are making their way onto the ballot in your neck of the woods?

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