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

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.

AUGUST 1, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

Games? eBooks? Music? There's a Tax for That

Pennsylvanians who didn’t stock up on iTunes, eBooks, and game apps yesterday will begin paying more today, as the 6 percent sales tax on digital downloads, satellite radio, and streaming video and audio such as Netflix, goes into effect.

JULY 22, 2016 | News Availability by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

DNC in Philly: Top 5 Ways Big-Government Policies Are Killing the Host City

Philadelphia

As all eyes turn to Philadelphia next week for the Democratic National Convention, just steps from the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphians are suffering from high taxes, union-controlled public schools, and a government-run liquor monopoly.

JULY 18, 2016 | Policy Points by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION

An Analysis of the 2016-17 Budget

On June 30, the legislature passed a $31.6 billion General Fund Budget. Gov. Wolf allowed this budget to become law without his signature on July 12. On July 13, the House and Senate passed a revenue package to pay for the spending plan. Here is what you need to know about the budget.

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Podcast: How Money Walks Out of Pennsylvania

August 24

Last year, nearly 42,000 Pennsylvanians left the state to pursue their dreams elsewhere—that's one person every 12 and a half minutes. Why is money walking out of Pennsylvania? That’s the topic of the second episode of Commonwealth Insight, our new, bi-weekly podcast featuring state ...