June 22, 2016
By Dan White Less than two weeks to go in the fiscal year, and Pennsylvania is still without a new budget. This is usually the time to start complaining about partisan gridlock and assign blame. That's easy to do from afar, but it is much more difficult to sit in Harrisburg and reconcile competing interests. So let's first take stock of how things stand elsewhere in the country. All but four states begin their new fiscal years in July, and of those, 10 still do not have a budget in place.
March 17, 2016
By Berwood A. Yost Why don't we have a state budget? The answer is neither short nor simple. Pennsylvania's budget impasse is the direct result of three state policy failures: the failure to find the reliable funding sources that state government needs to operate, the failure to reduce the spending growth that existing laws require, and the failure to support reforms that make elections more competitive. Corporate taxes as a share of general-fund revenues have steadily declined because the amount of money generated by those taxes has remained, in inflation-adjusted terms, unchanged since 1988.
November 12, 2015 |
Gov. Christie on Tuesday sought to make the case that he was the best choice in the GOP presidential field to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton, while he also swatted back attacks that he was a "big government Republican" who wouldn't rein in spending. Appearing in the so-called undercard debate, the New Jersey governor all but ignored an onslaught of criticism leveled by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, instead deciding to answer almost every question with warnings about a potential Clinton presidency.
April 24, 2015
THE WASHINGTON Post yesterday offered two items - one on trust in government and one on how much lobbyists spend - that just might be connected. The first item comes from a Pew Research Center study showing just 23 percent of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing "at least most of the time. " The second item compares government spending on congressional staff to private-sector spending on lobbying Congress. The latter is greater than the former.
October 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach of Chester County became the latest local Republican to break with House conservatives Wednesday, calling for a "clean" spending bill to reopen the federal government. Gerlach, who accompanied his statement with eye-opening statistics about the tenor of messages from his constituents, is the fifth Republican from the moderate Philadelphia suburbs to part ways with the GOP's House leadership in the ongoing fight over government spending and President Obama's sweeping health-care law. "It is time for Congress to vote on a budget bill that gets the government back to work providing all of the services already paid for by the hardworking taxpayers in my district and across the country," Gerlach's statement said.
August 2, 2013 |
The first, and likely only, debate in the Republican Senate primary produced few substantive distinctions between the two candidates and even fewer fireworks. Steve Lonegan and Alieta Eck staked out similar positions, calling for a less intrusive government, less spending, and a repeal of President Obama's health-care law. Each supported tougher border security, questioned the size of the $50 billion aid package passed after Hurricane Sandy, and praised the tea party as a positive force against government overreach.
May 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.4 percent annual rate from January through March, slightly slower than initially estimated. Consumer spending was stronger than first thought, but businesses restocked more slowly, and state and local government spending cuts were deeper. The Commerce Department said Thursday that economic growth in the first quarter was only marginally below the 2.5 percent annual rate the government estimated last month. That's still much faster than the 0.4 percent growth during the October-December quarter.
May 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans are more optimistic that the job market is healing and will deliver higher pay later this year. That brighter outlook, along with rising home prices, cheaper gasoline, and a surging stock market, could offset some of the drag from the recent tax increases and government spending cuts. A gauge of consumer confidence rose in April, reversing a decline in March, the Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday. The board attributed the gain to optimism about hiring and pay increases.
April 17, 2013
By Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan Each July Fourth, Americans celebrate their freedom, the result of a revolution over "taxation without representation. " This month, we celebrate another type of freedom - from our own tax man. It turns out that taxation with representation is no picnic either. According to the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day - the day on which the average American has earned enough money to pay off his federal, state, and local tax bills for the year - occurs on Thursday.
March 4, 2013 |
FORT HOOD, Texas - Public schools everywhere will be affected by the government's automatic budget cuts, but few may feel the funding pinch faster than those on and around military bases. School districts with military ties from coast to coast are bracing for increased class sizes and delayed building repairs. Others already have axed sports teams and even eliminated teaching positions, but still may have to tap savings just to make it through year's end. But there's little hope for softening any future financial blows.