Nathan A. Benefield
Wed, October 08, 2014
How Much Do We Spend on Education?
How much do we spend on our public schools in America? Quite a lot, actually, but you wouldn't know it if you posed the question to the average voter. In poll after poll, Americans vastly ...
Wed, May 28, 2014
Pension Reform Benefits Teachers, Taxpayers
Standard ~Poor's recently issued a stern warning that they would lower Pennsylvania's bond rating–making it more expensive for the state to borrow money–unless they "adopt meaningful ...
Tue, April 22, 2014
Super PACs Supersize Union Political Spending
Last month, a federal judge ruled that a new breed of political money machines–called "super PACs"–can get involved in Pennsylvania elections using an unlimited amount of union ...
Wed, March 26, 2014
Playing the Education Lottery
Last month, families from across Pennsylvania waited anxiously to hear if they had finally won the lottery. But these hopeful parents weren't looking to win the MegaMillions–they were hoping ...
Wed, February 05, 2014
State Budget Deja Vu
Ceremonies in Punxsutawney have come and gone, but every year Groundhog Day reminds me of the film of the same name–in which Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again. Gov. Tom ...
Wed, January 29, 2014
Don't Be Fooled by Union Trick
"Attacking a straw man" is an old debate technique used by people bereft of a solid argument. The trick is to reconstruct a point of view in a way that makes it vulnerable to attack.
Tue, November 05, 2013
Dues Deductions Offense to Taxpayers
It was the last straw for teacher Steve Calabro. When the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) ran advertisements claiming any teacher who didn't contribute to the union PAC was part of ...
Wed, June 12, 2013
Case for Corbett's Tax Reform
Pennsylvania's small business owners face a daunting challenge: How can you invest and expand your business while paying the second highest corporate tax rate in the country? If you can believe it, ...
Thu, May 16, 2013
Liquor Privatization Done Right
Picture this: You're on your way home from visiting family in Delaware and decide to stop at a wine store near the Pennsylvania border. As you walk through the parking lot, something seems off. For ...
Wed, February 06, 2013
Standing With Taxpayers
Most Pennsylvanians probably weren't aware — or don't care — that Governor Corbett delivered his 2013-14 budget proposal this week. But they should! Spending $20,900 per family of ...
Fri, January 18, 2013
Pension Bomb to Hit PA Families
Are you ready to pay an additional $1,000 in state and local taxes alone? Prepared to see your child's teacher laid off? Thanks to bad promises politicians made to good people, a pension crisis ...
Tue, July 03, 2012
Olympic Hurdles Grab for Gold in PA Budget
This July signals the beginning and end of two feats requiring amazing determination, stamina and perseverance — the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics and the on-time passage of the ...
Mon, February 13, 2012
Fireproofing Pennsylvania's Economy
What if someone showed you the future and you saw your house was going to catch fire? Wouldn't you do everything you could to fireproof it today?
It doesn't take a ...
Thu, December 22, 2011
Why Gov. Corbett Didn't Get His Christmas Wish List
For Christmas this year, Gov. Tom Corbett hoped the legislature would gift wrap three things he could tie a bow on: An education reform package that included school vouchers, state liquor store ...
Thu, July 07, 2011
Corbett First Inning Scorecard
July signals the coming of two breaks in Pennsylvania–Major League Baseball's All-Star break and the end of the state budget season. Having endured his first budget as the commonwealth's ...
Thu, June 23, 2011
Give Voters a Say on School Taxes
Five years ago, state lawmakers passed Act 1 to provide property tax relief and give voters a voice on school tax increases. But since slot machine gambling was introduced in Pennsylvania, school ...
Thu, May 12, 2011
A Penny Saved or a Penny Burned
AImagine for a minute that you, like many Pennsylvanians, had your hours and pay cut back at work. You've been building up credit card debt month after month, and had to renegotiate your mortgage ...
Wed, January 26, 2011
Parents Need Choices
Nathan Benefield Andrew LeFevre
Before Jonathan came to City Center Academy in Philadelphia, he was a "trouble student." He hated school and was a ...
Mon, November 08, 2010
As Tom Corbett prepares for his move into the Pennsylvania Governor's Mansion, he must be realizing the magnitude of what he is about to undertake: the governorship of a state that is facing both a ...
Fri, September 24, 2010
Three Myths About Free Market Conservatives
Working for a free-market think tank, one hears all the attacks against conservatives and endures being given many labels. Three of the most common attacks launched by both those who misunderstand ...
Fri, August 27, 2010
Gov. Rendell's Gamesmanship
While table games have been in Pennsylvania casinos for more than a month, I don't know if Gov. Rendell has tried his luck. But it would be a safe wager that he's a fantastic poker player. Why? For ...
Tue, July 13, 2010
The Real Problem with the Specter Library
As part of the state budget deal, Gov. Rendell secured $600 million in new borrowing for pork-barrel projects, including $10 million for the "Arlen Specter Library" at Philadelphia ...
Wed, June 16, 2010
Are PA Taxes 'Money Well Spent'?
Gov. Rendell proposes balancing the state budget with a combination of new and higher taxes, another federal bailout, and additional state borrowing. When confronted by opposition to additional ...
Tue, March 30, 2010
Who the Health Cares About the Constitution?
Constitutional questions have dogged the health care bill since its introduction. But rather than address these issues head on, supporters of the legislation have shrugged them off. Speaker Nancy ...
Fri, March 19, 2010
The Case for a Part-Time Legislature
Ask Pennsylvanians what comes to mind when they hear the words "state government," and the responses will regularly include corruption, late budgets, cronyism, wasteful spending, and ...
Thu, March 11, 2010
CF Flunks Corbett Economic Plan
Pennsylvania governor candidate Tom Corbett and his campaign team unveiled the first of seven policy outlines on economic development.
Much of what it outlines is ...
Thu, February 11, 2010
No Solutions in Rendell's Budget
No Solutions in Rendell's Budget
* COMMENTS (2)
Thu, February 04, 2010
Six Opportunities for Pennsylvania
By Katrina Anderson and Nathan Benefield
Once upon a time, "Keystone State" represented more than just a nickname, as Pennsylvania was central to ...
Wed, January 27, 2010
Five Alternatives to Tolling I-80
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) continues its push for federal approval to toll Interstate-80, claiming that without it bridges will collapse, highways will crumble, and dogs and cats will ...
Fri, January 15, 2010
A Third Stimulus Won't be the Charm
Some members of Congress are pushing a third economic "stimulus" in as many years (pundits often forget the Bush stimulus of 2008). Supporters of yet another round of deficit spending make ...
Wed, December 02, 2009
Taxing Tuition: The Future of Higher Education?
By Elizabeth Bryan and Nathan Benefield
With Pittsburgh on the brink of bankruptcy thanks to its continual out-of-control spending, Mayor Ravenstahl and his allies ...
Tue, August 25, 2009
ObamaCare is Bad Medicine for PA
America faces divergent prescriptions for health care reform–one calling for more government control, the other for patient empowerment. Unfortunately President Obama, Governor Rendell, and ...
Thu, June 04, 2009
Pennsylvanians Deserve Open Budget Debate
By Nathan A. Benefield and Elizabeth Bryan
With the approach of June 30 and the end of the state's fiscal year comes the annual argument in Harrisburg over Pennsylvania's budget. With ...
Fri, May 15, 2009
Get the Quarter Back
There is an old joke, with many variations, that goes something like this: a foreigner came to visit a friend in America, and they went to watch a Pittsburgh Steelers football game. After the game, ...
Tue, April 14, 2009
Tax Freedom Day 2009
Nathan A. Benefield Michael Acker
Circle April 14th on your calendar this year as Tax Freedom Day for Pennsylvania. While tomorrow is the deadline for filing income tax forms, ...
Tue, March 17, 2009
Free Markets: An Unknown Ideal
President Obama, Governor Rendell, and many in the media have been echoing a similar refrain recently: "Conservatives had their chance. We tried free markets, and they failed." When ...
Fri, February 13, 2009
School District Consolidation is a Red Herring
Nathan A. Benefield Fred D. Baldwin
In the movie Men in Black, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) carries a small device that flashes, allowing him to make people forget meeting him ...
Tue, January 27, 2009
Six Years of Rendell's 'Stimulus' is Enough
Gov. Ed Rendell is, as head of the National Governor's Association as well as the chief of a state facing a major revenue shortfall, leading the push for a federal "stimulus" package that ...
Mon, January 19, 2009
Boscov's Bailout is Bad for Business
With bailout mania sweeping the nation, it is hardly a surprise to see the struggling Boscov's department store with its hand out. But the current proposal to give Boscov's $35 million in taxpayer ...
Mon, November 24, 2008
Government Can't Cure Our Economic Woes
Pennsylvania is facing a deep shortfall in revenue which, through October, stands at $565 million. Putting this in perspective, the shortfall in 2002-03–which led to increases in the state ...
Mon, November 03, 2008
Real Hope and Change Comes from Ideas, Not Politics
In 1993, I officially launched my campaign for President of the United States. Granted, I was only 17 years old, hadn't graduated high school yet, and wasn't a member of the Kennedy family. ...
Fri, October 10, 2008
Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)
Recently, state Senators Gibson Armstrong (R, Lancaster) and Vince Fumo (D, Philadelphia) sounded the alarm that Pennsylvania will be facing a massive budget deficit by the end of the fiscal year. ...