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.”

Education

Governor’s campaign slogans won’t fix Pa.

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 8, 2024

Originally published at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Though elected in 2022, Gov. Josh Shapiro remains stuck in campaign mode, offering one empty platitude after another while avoiding the hard work…

Media Hit

Read More: Governor’s campaign slogans won’t fix Pa.

State Budget

‘Shrinkflation’ ignores the true problem: deficit spending

  • Nathan Benefield
  • April 1, 2024

Originally published at the Allentown Morning Call President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey deflect blame for high inflation away from the true cause: their own policies. They…

Media Hit

Read More: ‘Shrinkflation’ ignores the true problem: deficit spending

State Budget

Transit Bailout Could Derail Shapiro’s Budget

  • Andrew Holman, Nathan Benefield
  • February 20, 2024

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro thinks mass transit is too big to fail. In his recent budget address, Shapiro pitched sending roughly $300 million…

Media Hit

Read More: Transit Bailout Could Derail Shapiro’s Budget

Education

Gov. Shapiro’s budget shoves Pennsylvania in the wrong direction

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 17, 2024

Originally published at The Patriot-News Pennsylvania’s population is shrinking as working-age families move away to other states. State policymakers’ most important challenge is how to make our commonwealth…

Media Hit

Read More: Gov. Shapiro’s budget shoves Pennsylvania in the wrong direction

Education

Key Takeaways from Governor’s 2024 Budget Proposal

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 7, 2024

Key Points Gov. Josh Shapiro’s startling spending increases and myriad of new initiatives would explode the budget deficit and invite massive tax hikes on working families in the coming years.

Backgrounder

Read More: Key Takeaways from Governor’s 2024 Budget Proposal

Education

Shapiro’s Budget Better Be “Competitive as Hell”

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 31, 2024

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro likes to brag about being “competitive as hell.” Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is losing—and I’m not talking about football. U.S. News &…

Media Hit

Read More: Shapiro’s Budget Better Be “Competitive as Hell”

Education

More state dollars won’t create better scholars

  • Nathan Benefield
  • January 28, 2024

Originally published at LNP Earlier this month, the Basic Education Funding Commission released its long-overdue recommendations regarding Pennsylvania’s fair funding formula for public schools. Unfortunately, the recommendations from the…

Media Hit

Read More: More state dollars won’t create better scholars

Energy

Gov. Shapiro wants unilateral power to commit the state to climate agreements

  • Nathan Benefield
  • December 13, 2023

Originally published at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette During a recent black-tie affair in a Manhattan ballroom, Gov. Josh Shapiro encouraged Pennsylvania lawmakers to embrace bipartisanship. “It doesn’t just last a weekend,…

Media Hit

Read More: Gov. Shapiro wants unilateral power to commit the state to climate agreements

Prosperity

Conservative Donors Failed to Show Up in the 2023 Elections

  • Nathan Benefield
  • November 17, 2023

Originally published in the Wall Street Journal Once critics of the supposedly malign influence of money in politics, the progressive left proved to be big spenders in November’s elections.

Media Hit

Read More: Conservative Donors Failed to Show Up in the 2023 Elections

Public Union Democracy

Union Pandering Disguised as Railway Safety

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 24, 2023

Originally published at RealClearPolicy More workers have gone on strike in the first nine months of 2023 than in all of 2022. Philadelphia alone saw strikes at Temple University, Rutgers University,…

Media Hit

Read More: Union Pandering Disguised as Railway Safety

Education

Shapiro Must Reset His Legislative Strategy

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 20, 2023

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania The recent sexual harassment scandal rocking Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration has made many headlines. And though Shapiro must take these accusations seriously, there could be a…

Media Hit

Read More: Shapiro Must Reset His Legislative Strategy

Government Accountability

Shapiro’s ‘Voter Registration’ Change Just Another Photo Op

  • Nathan Benefield
  • October 2, 2023

Originally published in The American Spectator Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro announced, with great fanfare, that he is implementing “automatic voter registration” in the Keystone State.

Media Hit

Read More: Shapiro’s ‘Voter Registration’ Change Just Another Photo Op

Education

Pennsylvanians Deserve the Truth on Education Spending

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 18, 2023

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding Commission has begun holding hearings on how to remake the state’s public schools funding formula after a state court determined that the existing…

Media Hit

Read More: Pennsylvanians Deserve the Truth on Education Spending

Education

Pa. House Majority Leader Matt Bradford’s failed leadership

  • Nathan Benefield
  • September 15, 2023

Originally published in The Mercury The Pennsylvania budget remains unfinished, while Pennsylvania House lawmakers remain on vacation (in recess) until the end of September. While it’s up to Speaker…

Media Hit

Read More: Pa. House Majority Leader Matt Bradford’s failed leadership

Education

If Ohio Can Fix Education, So Can Pennsylvania

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 8, 2023

Originally published at RealClearEducation There is a big lie recited as gospel: Giving parents educational choice drains money from public schools and ultimately destroys them. Teachers union lobbyists recently…

Media Hit

Read More: If Ohio Can Fix Education, So Can Pennsylvania

Prosperity

Bidenomics Doesn’t Add Up for Pennsylvania or America

  • Nathan Benefield
  • July 20, 2023

Originally published at RealClearPennsylvania President Joe Biden is returning to his birth state to pitch his newly branded economic vision: Bidenomics. Though Biden seems eager to paint a rosy…

Media Hit

Read More: Bidenomics Doesn’t Add Up for Pennsylvania or America

Education

Shapiro, lawmakers must choose — students or special interests?

  • Nathan Benefield
  • July 18, 2023

Originally published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review In education policy, there are two main groups of stakeholders: parents and special interests. Parents want the best opportunities for their children, while…

Media Hit

Read More: Shapiro, lawmakers must choose — students or special interests?