Senior Vice President
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.”
No One Wants Higher Taxes
The latest reports out of the state Capitol suggest that including a sales tax increase in the budget framework—which we addressed earlier—is off the table. Turns out, lawmakers weren’t too keen on…
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Tax Shifts and Education Spending
As proposals to reduce, reform, or (mostly) eliminate school property taxes continue to be debated in Harrisburg, many readers have asked about our position on a dollar-for-dollar tax shift,…
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How is Property Tax Relief Doled Out?
Among the many questions in a tentative state budget deal is how revenue from the sales tax increase would be distributed. The Associated Press notes this will be…
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Budget Hope on the Horizon?
After nearly five months of gridlock, a new state budget framework was announced this week. At this point, it’s tempting to call any progress on budget agreement a victory, but…
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Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections
The problem isn't that unions give a lot, or even that they dominate political spending. The problem is that government union dues and campaign contributions are collected at taxpayer expense…
MemoRead More: Union Political Spending in the 2015 Pennsylvania Elections
Taxes & Economy
New Details on Proposed Tax Increase
As movement towards a budget deal progresses, more details have emerged regarding the sales tax increase we reported on yesterday. Let's remember that before we ask working families…
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A Stealth Tax Increase?
Rumors about a proposed budget continue to swirl in Harrisburg. One such rumor is that the deal would include an increase in the sales tax rate to be used for…
MediaRead More: A Stealth Tax Increase?
Drop the “Phony Baloney” Liquor Reform
Rumors around the state capitol suggest legislative leaders are closer to a state budget deal. But shockingly, Gov. Wolf continues to hold out for his ill-advised liquor improvement scheme.
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Public Union Democracy
On October 21, more than 100 days after his veto touched off Pennsylvania’s ongoing state budget impasse, Gov. Tom Wolf sent a letter to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers…
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Union Dues fund SuperPAC Attack Ads
Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform—a new “SuperPAC” (technically an “Independent Expenditure Committee”) registered in August—has spent about $2.5 million on attack ads in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race. Who…
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Five Ways Gov. Wolf is Sustaining the Status Quo
During his budget address, Gov. Tom Wolf said “It's not good enough to just say no and continue with the same old same old.” More recently, taking to social media,…
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Time to Send “Ghost Teachers” Back to the Future
As 1980s movie buffs know, today—Oct 21, 2015—is the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled forward in time in the Back to the Future films. Back to the Future predicted…
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Wolf Claims More Student Hostages
Earlier this week, The Neighborhood Academy, a private school in Pittsburgh, held a rally in the state Capitol to highlight Gov. Wolf’s withholding tax credits for student scholarships. Pennsylvania’s Educational…
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Public Union Democracy
Paycheck Protection Passes Senate
Today, the Pennsylvania Senate passed paycheck protection (SB 501) by a 26-23 vote. The bill will now move to the House. You can view the roll call vote…
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Wolf’s Tax Hikes: Version 3.0
Today, Gov. Wolf unveiled a 3rd proposal for a tax increase. This represents both good news and bad news for taxpayers. The good news is that Wolf now concedes that…
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Can You Afford $1,000 More?
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a major tax increase. This vote will be, in all likelihood, on a proposal Gov. Tom…
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Wolf Truth Squad: Tax Hikes on Working Families
UPDATE: Gov. Wolf offered a new tax proposal on October 6, 2015. Here is a summary of that plan As noted yesterday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives…
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Tax Hike Vote: Four Things to Know
UPDATE: Gov. Wolf offered a new tax proposal on October 6, 2015. Here is a summary of that plan Legislative leaders have promised that on Wednesday October 7,…
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Four Things to Know about Wolf’s September Tax Increase Proposal
On September 11, 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf presented legislative leaders with a second tax increase proposal—totaling$1.8 billion for the 2015-16 budget year, and a $3.2 billion net increase in 2016-17,…
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Wolf Veto = $11 Million Bill for Taxpayers
School districts have borrowed $346 million—and taxpayers will pay to pay up to $11 million in interest payments—as a result of Gov. Wolf’s budget vetoes, according to a report…
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Fresh Start, or Stale Policies of Decades Past?
At the beginning of 2015, we heard a lot about a “fresh start” for Pennsylvania. But nine months later, it's difficult to identify anything fresh about Gov. Wolf's tax, borrow…
MediaRead More: Fresh Start, or Stale Policies of Decades Past?