The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

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 […]

Shifting Our Focus on Education

During the last three state budget debates, education discussions focused on spending. Unfortunately, what has been lost is a meaningful conversation about how we improve the quality of our education system. This has been to the detriment of our children. Is the answer to our challenges a never-ending supply of taxpayer money? Far too often, […]

New Study Reaffirms Energy’s Link to Economic Growth

There is one thing about our economy that everyone seems to agree about–things are looking up, but don’t be too optimistic.President Barack Obama is calling it “stability, not security” in his current rounds of economic talks. Recent Wall Street Journal headlines echo this “glass half full, glass half empty” assessment, noting that while housing is […]

Climate Change Agenda Will Hurt Pennsylvania

President Obama’s recently announced climate-change agenda calls for stiff new limits on carbon emissions at coal-fired plants. That will hit Pennsylvania hard.A 2012 study by the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance found that 14,500 Pennsylvania jobs depend on coal, which contributes $7.5 billion to our state economy. Coal has actually reduced emissions 70 percent since the 1970s, […]

Obama Energy Strategy Falls Short of Rhetoric

The head of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA) said President Obama needs some major retooling of the environmental strategy he announced in a policy address on June 25, 2013 if he wants the United States to continue to be the world’s standard setter on clean energy solutions.“In recent decades, the coal industry has made major […]

Congress Needs To Stop Subsidies To Sugar Farmers

The steamboat conveying Andrew Jackson up the Ohio River toward his tumultuous 1829 inauguration had brooms lashed to its bow, symbolizing Old Hickory’s vow to clean up Washington. But sweeping out Washington’s Augean stables, like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, is steady work, so steady it never ends. Neither do the policies that cosset sugar […]

A New Day for U.S. Manufacturing Thanks To Natural Gas

AMERICA, WHICH NEVER LOST ITS HIGH-TECH DOMINANCE, IS NOW SEEING A JOBS BOOM IN NATURAL GAS Remember the 1980s? It was to be the decade of Japanese dominance. A post-Jimmy Carter America would be unable to compete with the efficient Japanese jobs machine. Aging technology, lazy management and high-cost labor would ensure America’s rapid demise […]

We Didn’t Vote to Surrender Our Sovereignty

At first I thought the IRS scandal was leaked to distract from the Benghazi scandal. But that didn’t make sense because the IRS scandal is a more obvious abuse of power than the White House lying about the murder of four Americans in Libya. Before I had resolved which scandal was distracting from which, we […]

Leading Pennsylvania College in Disarray

An all too familiar scene was enacted on the campus of Swarthmore College during a meeting on May 4th to discuss demands by student activists for the college to divest itself of its investments in companies that dealt in fossil fuels. As a speaker was beginning a presentation to show how many millions of dollars […]