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.
Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to pursue success in our state. While Gov.-elect Wolf's intentions echo this noble sentiment, many of his proposals fall far short of his vision.
From Philadelphia to York to the Pittsburgh suburbs, parents and taxpayers are looking to improve public education without breaking the bank. But there’s a common roadblock standing in their way: Teachers’ unions are consigning students to some of the worst-performing schools in the state—all to retain their iron grip on power.
A new report on economic freedom released this week by the Fraser Institute ranks Pennsylvania 27th among the 50 states. The report notes that states with the most economic freedom enjoyed a $55,000 average GDP per capita while the least-free states averaged just $48,000—a $7,000 difference per person.
Why did voters strongly reject Gov. Corbett’s re-election bid by double digit margins in favor of Tom Wolf—a candidate promising higher taxes on the “rich” and more spending on public education? In short, it was Corbett’s public image and a lack of big wins on popular policies—not an embrace of bigger and more expensive government.
The evidence is overwhelming: Unions use members' dues and taxpayer resources to push their political agenda. By passing paycheck protection, Pennsylvania can move toward leveling the political playing field, making Pennsylvania fairer for all those engaged in the political process.
November 19, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa.—Wouldn’t it be nice if you could fire your own boss, choose his replacement, and force the people paying your salary to help make it happen? That’s the deal that government unions were able to swing this November by pumping more than $7 million directly to political candidates across Pennsylvania—including $2.7 million given to Governor-elect Tom Wolf—and at least $1.6 million in election-related TV ads, all col
John Oelbracht has managed the Westwood Generation power plant in Schuylkill County for 10 years. It’s more than a job to him—it’s an undertaking to clean up the environment while producing power for Pennsylvania homes. “We’re on something of a mission here,” Oelbracht says. But if the EPA has its way, he could soon be out of a job.
Can you afford to lose the equivalent of a mortgage payment? How about four? Given a possible 188 percent increase in the state income tax rate to pay for Tom Wolf’s education spending plans, these questions could be in Pennsylvanians' futures.
Last year’s disastrous Obamacare rollout had serious consequences. Here in Pennsylvania, Healthcare.gov glitches withheld care from Sally’s dying sister, a small business in Pittsburgh saw employee premiums double, and Mark, a young adult from Delaware County, couldn’t afford to replace his canceled plan.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has proposed several new spending initiatives and tax code changes, though specific details remain lacking. To give Pennsylvanians a better idea of the impact of these proposals, we conducted an analysis of his two major education funding proposals. We also analyze his personal income tax proposal, the increase in the income tax rate required to pay for his spending plans, and the impact on taxpayers.
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Who are We?
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.