14 Feb 2013

Imagine … A Minimum Wage Your Daughter Could Live On

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State The Australian minimum wage this year is $15.96 per hour. I know this mostly because my daughter lives in Melbourne these days (not forever, I hope). When she arrived there 18 months ago, she got a job at a minimum-wage restaurant. She earned enough

01 Feb 2013

Pennsylvania Among ‘Terrible 10’ Most Regressive Tax States

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s wealthiest earners, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). Pennsylvania’s tax system scored so poorly that it

29 Jan 2013

Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion

By Sharon Ward, Third and State There is growing bipartisan agreement that the optional expansion of Medicaid provided by the Affordable Care Act is too good an opportunity to pass up. This month, the Governors of Arizona and North Dakota, both Republicans, announced their intention to opt-in to the Medicaid

25 Jan 2013

The Reports of Unions’ Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State There’s a good deal of crowing in conservative circles this week about the new 2012 numbers on union membership. Union membership nationally fell by about 400,000, to 14.4 million. Union membership in Pennsylvania declined 45,000, including 59,000 in the private sector. Of course, for anyone

15 Jan 2013

Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind

By Michael Wood, Third and State Federal health care reform is moving forward thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year — and it is a great deal for Pennsylvania. Unless the state decides to “opt out,” Medicaid coverage will be expanded to include many Pennsylvanians who are uninsured.

07 Jan 2013

PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact

By Michael Wood, Third and State With a strong December showing, the commonwealth now has a General Fund revenue surplus of $171 million (1.4% above estimate) for the first half of the 2012-13 fiscal year, double the Corbett administrationâ??s revised estimate for the entire fiscal year. The strong December collections exceeded estimate by

03 Jan 2013

What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?

By Sharon Ward, Third and State Tell us what you think about the Fiscal Cliff deal. Take our two-question survey. The agreement reached by President Obama and Congress on January 1 was both historic and disappointing — and it leaves much unsettled. The urgency of the Fiscal Cliff has dissipated, but significant

21 Dec 2012

Few in PA Would Be Affected by Ending High-income Tax Cuts

By Sharon Ward, Third and State The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is out today with a new analysis finding that President Obamaâ??s plan to end federal tax cuts for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties. In over half of the state’s 67 counties,

18 Dec 2012

In the Bid to Privatize PA’s Lottery, One Is the Loneliest Number

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do … Although I’m dating myself, some of you may recognize the Harry Nilsson song made famous by Three Dog Night. We recommend that Governor Tom Corbett download it to his iPod as he contemplates whether

12 Nov 2012

Pennsylvania Private Job Performance Through the Looking Glass

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State In the 1890s, scientist George Stratton reported that, after four days of wearing a lens that inverted his vision, his brain reprocessed what he saw and flipped everything back up the right way. John Micek’s Friday article brought this experiment to mind. Micek quotes Pennsylvania