Nathan Benefield

Nathan Benefield

Senior Vice President

Nathan (Nate) Benefield is the Senior Vice President at the Commonwealth Foundation.

An Ohio native, Nate holds an undergraduate degree in political science and economics and a master’s degree in public service management from DePaul University in Chicago. He also completed his doctoral studies (ABD) in political science at Loyola University, also in Chicago.

Nate joined the Commonwealth Foundation in 2005. Now as senior vice president, he provides strategic leadership as well as operational oversight spanning policy analysis, government relations, marketing, and communications.

Nate has researched and written extensively on public policy issues including the state budget, public sector labor reform, government spending and taxes, liquor privatization, education, and economic development. Under Nate’s policy leadership, the Commonwealth Foundation’s work on public sector pension law helped drive the bipartisan pension reform of 2017, heralded by the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post as an example for other states to follow.

Nate has testified numerous times before state legislative committees and is often called upon by legislators and members of the media to provide expertise. He is a frequent commentator on both television and radio, and his writings have appeared across the state and nationally in outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Patriot-News, and Weekly Standard.

Nate’s favorite rock song and personal motto are both “Don’t Stop Believin.”

Prosperity

Stagnant Pennsylvania Economy Requires Real Business-Tax Reform

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 18, 2022

Originally published at RealClearPolicy In his final annual budget address, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf proposed a major reduction in the state’s corporate income tax. Wolf’s tax-cut plan may come…

Media Hit

Read More: Stagnant Pennsylvania Economy Requires Real Business-Tax Reform

Fairness

Why Pennsylvania Needs Wisconsin-Style Government Union Reform

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • February 24, 2022

Key Findings Government unions have enormous political power in Pennsylvania, due to a host of special legal privileges granted in state law.Government union executives use this power to trap government…

Report

Read More: Why Pennsylvania Needs Wisconsin-Style Government Union Reform

Prosperity

A real budget can bring prosperity to Pennsylvania

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 19, 2022

Originally published in The Patriot-News In in his annual budget address last week, Gov. Tom Wolf patted himself on the back for his management of the state’s finances. He…

Media Hit

Read More: A real budget can bring prosperity to Pennsylvania

Prosperity

How Government Overspending Hurts Pennsylvania Families

  • Andrew Holman, Nathan Benefield
  • January 31, 2022

Key Points Excessive government spending and borrowing is causing record-setting inflation and severe supply chain shortages.Voters want fiscal restraint from their government.High taxes and spending are making Pennsylvania uncompetitive, costing…

Backgrounder

Read More: How Government Overspending Hurts Pennsylvania Families

Prosperity

Op-Ed: Pa.’s out-of-control spending is driving away residents

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 25, 2022

Originally published in the Pittsiburgh Tribune-Review Gov. Tom Wolf recently declared 2022 a “magical year” for the Pennsylvania budget, citing the possibility of a surplus. However, Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal…

Media Hit

Read More: Op-Ed: Pa.’s out-of-control spending is driving away residents

Fairness

Op-Ed: How officials use tax dollars in lobbying efforts

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 3, 2022

Originally published in the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette Used-car salesmen, members of Congress and telemarketers all rank near the bottom of least-trusted professions. The lowest, however, is lobbyist. For decades, media and…

Media Hit

Read More: Op-Ed: How officials use tax dollars in lobbying efforts

Fairness

Op-Ed: Gerrymandering won’t save unpopular candidates

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 1, 2022

Originally published in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review With state and congressional redistricting underway in Harrisburg, many politicians have blamed “partisan gerrymandering” for past election losses. But this is another instance when the…

Media Hit

Read More: Op-Ed: Gerrymandering won’t save unpopular candidates

Op-Ed: Empower Parents, Not Union Leaders

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 27, 2021

Originally published at RealClearEducation Earlier this year, the New York Post revealed that the American Federation of Teachers – one of America’s two national teachers’ unions – had…

Media

Read More: Op-Ed: Empower Parents, Not Union Leaders

Gov. Wolf Contradicts Himself, Implements School Mask Mandate

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 31, 2021

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his administration will implement a mask mandate for all public and private schools and daycare facilities in the commonwealth despite having repeatedly stated that…

Media

Read More: Gov. Wolf Contradicts Himself, Implements School Mask Mandate

Op-Ed: Limited government can make a comeback

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 28, 2021

For advocates of limited government, it’s easy to feel like the fight is over and the country is on the path to fiscal ruin. But such pessimism is unwarranted.

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: Limited government can make a comeback

Op-Ed: Limited Government Can Make a Comeback in Pandemic Era

  • Nathan Benefield
  • July 27, 2021

States like Pennsylvania are also pushing against unbridled gubernatorial powers. In the past, Republicans and Democrats criticized executive overreach when the opposing party was in power. Both parties, however, rarely…

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: Limited Government Can Make a Comeback in Pandemic Era

State Budget

2021 Budget Takeaways

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 29, 2021

Last week, the Pa. General Assembly passed a state budget deal that includes $40 billion in the General Fund budget, increases in tax credit scholarships, and a number of policy…

Fact Sheet

Read More: 2021 Budget Takeaways

Op-Ed: PA Gov. Attacks Lawmakers’ Sensible Election Reforms

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 25, 2021

Wolf is also ignoring new polling from Franklin & Marshall College, which shows that Pennsylvania voters believe election reform is necessary. Among voters polled, 81% favor signature matching for mail-in ballots…

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: PA Gov. Attacks Lawmakers’ Sensible Election Reforms

Op-Ed: Fight Against PA Guv’s Powers Reflects Bipartisan Trend

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 15, 2021

The Pennsylvania General Assembly’s efforts to restrict Wolf’s emergency declaration – renewed four times – has reached its endgame in the form of two constitutional amendments in a statewide voter…

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: Fight Against PA Guv’s Powers Reflects Bipartisan Trend

Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Doesn’t Have a Friend in Tom Wolf

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 22, 2021

As Pennsylvanians suffer under Wolf’s leadership, they will have a chance to force the governor to work with the legislature. This May, voters will get a say on a state…

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Doesn’t Have a Friend in Tom Wolf