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

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 | Commentary by BOB DICK

Tax Sends Vape Shops Up in Smoke

Imagine you find a way to help others live healthier lives, and this passion leads you to invest your savings to start a related small business. Now, imagine state government taking it all away from you with the stroke of a pen.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 | Commentary by GORDON TOMB

Lessons from Fracking's Borderlines

New Yorkers shouldn’t have to eye secession to tap the riches beneath their feet. Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to worry that taxes and regulations will drive away opportunity and raise energy prices. Both states should remind the nation that prosperity is always vulnerable to the heavy hand of government.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Exposed: State Agency Pension Debt Revealed for First Time

As lawmakers mull major changes to Pennsylvania’s public pension system this Fall, the Commonwealth Foundation today revealed new state pension details, showing specific unfunded liabilities for state and local agencies, the General Assembly, the judiciary, state-funded colleges, and other state employers.

AUGUST 25, 2016 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

How Does Pennsylvania's Tax Burden Compare?

Pennsylvania’s tax structure should benefit all Pennsylvanians, not just some. Unfortunately, our state’s stifling tax burden harms residents. Each year, government spending grows, increasing the pressure for higher taxes. These taxes weigh heavily on the state’s economy and lead to slow job and income growth. Lower taxes are the key to a stronger economy.

AUGUST 22, 2016 | Commentary by CHRIS HUGHES

State Government is Killing My Business

In 2013, I opened my first business. I’d overcome many challenges and assumed some gut-wrenching risks to get there, but I did it—and I was proud. But less than three years later, my business—my dream—is on the brink of shutting down because state government is taxing it to death.

AUGUST 17, 2016 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

School District Labor Contracts: Surprising Provisions

More than 1.7 million students rely on Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts to meet their diverse educational needs. School boards from each district agree to collective bargaining agreements (labor contracts) with local teachers’ unions. These labor contracts, renewed every few years through closed-door negotiations, contain various privileges for unions. This summary highlights key contract provisions that tilt the playing field toward government unions at the expense o

AUGUST 16, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Trapped: 5 Ways Union Contracts Trample Teachers’ Rights

As students across Pennsylvania head back to school, government unions that are supposed to speak for teachers are instead trampling their rights in order to advance the union leaders’ agenda. A review of labor contracts in Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts shows five ways these collective bargaining agreements trap teachers—and cost taxpayers:

AUGUST 11, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Poll: Union Leaders Out of Touch, Too Powerful

Out of touch. Too powerful. Poor representatives. This is how the majority of voters—and even current and former union members—describe union leaders. Why? Pennsylvania provides a perfect explanation.

AUGUST 10, 2016 | Policy Memo by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Seven Threats to the 2017-18 Budget

The 2016-17 budget remains unbalanced. Without serious efforts to reduce spending or reform major cost drivers, like public pensions and the sprawling human services system, taxpayers should expect a push for tax hikes in 2017.

AUGUST 8, 2016 | News Release by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Punitive e-Cigarette Tax Could Ax 300 Shops, 1,500 Jobs

Chris Hughes of Fat Cat Vapor Shop in Montoursville is preparing to close his doors for good after Gov. Wolf and lawmakers imposed a 40 percent, retroactive tax on his inventory, effective October 1. Now, one lawmaker is moving to save shop owners like Hughes from losing their livelihoods.

Total Records: 817


Wolf’s Union Agenda Loses Big in Court

September 22

David Smith and Donald Lambrecht were up against a powerful foe: Gov. Wolf and an executive order that granted a sweetheart deal to a union at their expense. In a huge win, the Commonwealth Court today issued a ruling invalidating Wolf’s executive order unionizing home care workers. Shortly ...