Center for Economic Freedom & Prosperity

The Center for Economic Freedom and Prosperity promotes economic policies that limit government intervention in the economy; encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and competition; and allow Pennsylvanians to pursue their own happiness and take personal responsibility for their lives.

Research Items

MARCH 26, 2015 | Commentary by MATTHEW BROUILLETTE

Wolf Negotiates Billions with Unions Who Gave Him Millions

Wolf received more than $2.6 million in campaign contributions from six of the government unions with whom he will be negotiating. How does Wolf square these contributions to his campaign while elsewhere touting his ban on gifts from anyone who is "seeking to obtain business from or has financial relations with the commonwealth"?


Natural Gas Severance Tax

A severance tax must be considered in light of the state’s total tax structure. Pennsylvania taxes the natural gas industry in many ways that don’t exist in other drilling states. For example, there is no corporate income tax or personal income tax in Texas or Wyoming, and the corporate income tax in West Virginia is 6.5%, compared to Pennsylvania’s 9.99% rate.


Collective Bargaining Transparency

Government Transparency

State law empowers government unions to be the exclusive representative of employees during contract negotiations with an employer. This is known as collective bargaining. Negotiations can have far reaching implications because they set compensation for tens of thousands of public employees, costing Pennsylvania taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Despite the enormous impact on taxpayers, the negotiation process is shrouded in secrecy.


'Transparency' Governor Negotiates $3.4 Billion Contracts with Campaign Funders in Secret

March 17, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Gov. Wolf is negotiating government union contracts worth nearly $3.4 billion behind closed doors. Worse, those same unions were some of his largest campaign donors. This, after the governor himself criticized “back room deals that erode the public’s trust.”

MARCH 12, 2015 | Policy Memo by NATHAN BENEFIELD

Summary of Governor Wolf's 2015-2016 Budget Proposal

General Fund spending is projected to reach $31.6 billion—the largest spending increase (8.7 percent) in 25 years. Gov. Wolf is proposing to move $1.75 billion in school pension payments to a new fund to make the increase in General Fund spending look smaller. The budget would increase state taxes by $4.5 billion—the largest tax increase in state history. The record tax increases would amount to $356 per person or $1,425 per family of four. Gov. Wolf's claim

MARCH 10, 2015 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Wolf's $1,000 Per Second Spending Plan

Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a budget with a spending rate clocking in at a blistering $1,000 per second. That means in the time it takes you to read this article, say three minutes, state government would spend a stunning $180,000. And the governor is looking at you to pay for it with a $4.5 billion tax increase—the largest in state history.


What Would $1,400 Buy? The True Cost of Wolf’s Tax Plan Revealed, News Conference Today

March 9, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Imagine a mom walking up to the grocery store check-out counter and finding $1,400 less in her bank account. What everyday necessities would her family have to sacrifice to make ends meet?

MARCH 4, 2015 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Supreme Court’s Obamacare Case Could Open Door to Real Healthcare Solutions

Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania lawmakers may get the chance to avoid costly, stringent, and unnecessary federal regulations on the healthcare industry. Arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court today could be the start of Obamacare’s undoing—presenting opportunities for patient-centered healthcare reforms that lowers costs and give patients greater choice and control.


Wolf’s Crushing $4.6 Billion Tax Increase Largest in Pa History

March 3, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Today, Governor Wolf proposed a $4.6 billion tax increase in 2015-16 that would cost the average Pennsylvania family of four a stunning $1,450 a year—that isn’t the fresh start middle-class families were looking for.


Liquor Privatization Passage Puts People First, Not Politics

February 26, 2015, HARRISBURG, Pa.—In 2013, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the first liquor privatization bill since Prohibition’s end more than 80 years ago. Today, the state House recommitted to expanding choice and convenience for wine and spirits consumers by passing liquor store privatization again—a lucrative move for both taxpayers and consumers.

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The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank.  The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.