HARRISBURG, PA – At a divisive moment in America, in the context of a campaign which has exploited electoral anger borne in part from economic difficulty, the Keystone Research Center today released the 21st edition of its report The State of Working Pennsylvania. The report finds that most groups in the state, whatever their race, ethnicity, gender, or education level, have experienced wage stagnation or decline in recent decades.
Last year didn't go according to plan for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. First, the state’s revenue collections came up far short of expectations due to huge tax cuts that he pushed through the state legislature in 2012. Those tax cuts, however, didn’t spur strong growth, as the governor projected. Then, as his policies drew national criticism, Brownback found himself in a tight reelection contest, despite Kansas' being a very conservative state.
It didn't take long before the new GOP House began passing a series of deficit-hiking tax cuts that will primarily help the rich at the expense of everybody else. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee (which writes tax legislation), wants to make some previous tax breaks permanent — arguing that Congress has previously extended certain tax breaks before. But Congress had also done other things previously (that the GOP doesn't want to do now), such as transfer funds from the Social Security retirement fund to shore up the disability fund.
A new report out claiming that various Republican Governors and State politicians are suggesting that the tax system be made more regressive. That is, we shift more of the burden of paying for State level government off the rich and onto the shoulders of the poor. This may or may not be a good idea for political reasons but they’ve most certainly got the macroeconomics of this right. It really is true that consumption taxes cause less loss of economic activity per amount of revenue raised than do income taxes.
If the rich paid the same state and local tax rate as the middle class, states and cities would have tens of billions of dollars more a year in public revenue, according to a new report from two left-leaning policy groups. The analysis comes as many newly elected state legislatures open their annual sessions debating how to deal with budget shortfalls.
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The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
KRC is the home of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC), a nonpartisan, statewide policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget, and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.
The Pennsylvania Fund for Workforce Solutions (PFWS)
KRC helped catalyze and provides staff support to PFWS, managed by the United Way of Pennsylvania. PFWS supports Industry Partnerships that are creating employment and advancement opportunities for lower-skilled adults. The PFWS is a collaborative of Pennsylvania's leading funders and a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.