The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

Beware, taxpayers – zombie pensions are eating your bacon

For reasons that remain obscure, everyone loves talking about zombies. For reasons a bit more obvious, everyone loves loving bacon. Meanwhile, if there’s one thing nobody loves talking about and nobody loves loving, it’s pension reform. But zombie pensions are eating your bacon, so listen up! The Commonwealth operates two pension programs for state workers […]

We Don’t Have To Choose Between Good Jobs and a Clean Environment

Here is some background on the EPA’s rules on existing power plants. On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its long awaited proposal to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance continues to review the proposal (the preamble alone is 450 pages) but according to several sources, and […]

Steel Industry, Workers Urge Commerce Department to Stop Dumping of Foreign Steel

American steel producers and the United Steelworkers (USW) are working together to stop foreign “dumping” of seamless tubes, or oil country tubular goods (OCTG), which are used in the gas and oil industry. Dumping is the practice of exporting products at a subsidized below-market price, in many cases as much as 30 percent below. This […]

“Babe, I Got You Babe”-Will the Expiration of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax Be Delayed Again?

Sound the 6:00 a.m. alarm and cue Sonny and Cher! “Groundhog Day” is previewing in Harrisburg with rumblings that the General Assembly may yet again delay the expiration of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT). One business tax expert sarcastically characterized CSFT as the go-to tax if your aim is to stunt business growth. […]

Hal Mowery: Driven by Policy, Not Politics

His given name was Harold F. Mowery, Jr., but to most folks he was simply Hal. His recent passing was marked by an extensive recitation of jobs and positions held and titles and recognitions earned. While this reflection was nice and true, there is still more to be said about a highly accomplished and warm-hearted […]

More Kissinger, Less Kerry- – The Solution to the Ukraine Crisis

Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how […]

True Charter School Reform Closes Gaps in Law But Keeps Doors Open for Innovation

Pennsylvania is frequently knocked for being slow to adopt policy innovations. Ironic, then, how much criticism is heaped on one of the true innovations of the past generation – charter schools. On the plus side, charter schools have proved every bit as creative and popular in practice as the originators believed. On the minus side, […]

Setting The Record Straight on Governor Corbett’s Education Funding

A central focus of Governor Corbett’s recent budget address was investment in education. However, many of the governor’s most vocal opponents often refer to his record on education funding as their chief criticism of his administration. For example, State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-7) recently referred to “the legacy of the governor slashing classroom funding by […]

Why We Must Fix Pennsylvania’s Broken Pension System

Is it as maddening to you as it is to me when government seems to make the same mistake over and over again but never learns? It can happen again in Pennsylvania if we don’t make needed changes to our public pension system. I have introduced a commonsense plan in the General Assembly that will […]

A Return to Aspirational America

Americans have always been an aspirational people. Instead of hardening into permanent class resentment, the less-well-off or just-starting-out generally prefer to think of themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires, as John Steinbeck put it. That faith in the future is vital to our success as a society and we all must see it vindicated. The post-recession […]