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.”
Who Will Vote to Raise Your Taxes?
Republican leadership in the General Assembly has announced they will allow a floor vote on a budget proposal that has the massive tax increases Gov. Wolf and government union leaders desire—if Democrats…
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Government that Works?
Last week, Governor Wolf revved up his Jeep and resumed his “Government that Works” tour in Lancaster. In an ironic twist, Wolf also promised to veto a temporary funding bill…
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Losers and Phony-Baloneys
Last week, Gov. Wolf unveiled new, bad policy ideas—to slightly adjust a misguided pension proposal, and to propose a private manager to a government run liquor monopoly. But just as…
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New Wolf Offer, Same Bad Policy
Yesterday, 28 days after receiving a budget compromise proposal from legislative Republicans, Gov. Wolf rejected that offer and issued his own plan—hiring a private contractor to manage the government liquor…
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Free the Budget Hostages
This week, lawmakers are expected to vote for a “stop-gap budget”—funding state services and programs for a few months, while continuing to negotiate a budget compromise. Yet, some politicians oppose…
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Public Union Democracy
Union Dues are Used for Politics (and Members Don’t Know It)
Yesterday's blog post and infographic noted how union dues from Pennsylvania teachers and state workers fund political ads from America Works USA. In response, on both Twitter…
MediaRead More: Union Dues are Used for Politics (and Members Don’t Know It)
How Public Employees are Forced to Fund Attack Ads
Pennsylvania school teachers and state workers are being forced to fund political attacks—with money collected at taxpayer expense through public payroll systems. Here’s how it works: Last year, 228,291 Pennsylvania…
MediaRead More: How Public Employees are Forced to Fund Attack Ads
Vince Hughes: A Brave Man
In March, Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a massive tax increase of $12 billion over the next two years. Sen. Vince Hughes offered this tax plan—or 97 percent of it,…
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Will Wolf Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer?
On June 30, state lawmakers passed a budget that offers $10.4 billion in state support for public schools. This represents an all-time high—indeed, an increase from last year’s all-time high—and…
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Borrowing ‘Dumb’ Ideas on Pension Reform
Would you take out a second mortgage on your home to bet on the stock market? Such an idea deserves ridicule—if not alarm. You’d be putting your home and your…
CommentaryRead More: Borrowing ‘Dumb’ Ideas on Pension Reform
Taxes & Economy
Taxes and Taxes and Taxes, Oh My!
A recent NPR article notes that Pennsylvania “gathers less than 1 percent of its total tax receipts from an impact fee” on natural gas production (emphasis mine). Naturally, the…
MediaRead More: Taxes and Taxes and Taxes, Oh My!
Public Union Democracy
Exposing Union Myths and Hypocrisy on Pension Reform
Pennsylvania government unions rely on disproven myths to lobby against pension reform. Their actions, however, demonstrate they don't believe their own snake oil, and offer their employees' the same retirement plans…
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Something Pennsylvania Government Does Pretty Well
A new report on state spending transparency websites gives Pennsylvania’s site—PennWatch—a solid ‘B’ grade. Created through legislation passed in 2011, PennWatch offers data—down to the “checkbook level”—on state…
MediaRead More: Something Pennsylvania Government Does Pretty Well
Union Leader Still Flouting the Law
Yesterday’s Post-Gazette featured a story highlighting the fact that Wendell Young still isn’t registered to lobby, and UFCW 1776 is underreporting their expenses: Mr. Young isn’t registered as…
MediaRead More: Union Leader Still Flouting the Law
Gov. Wolf’s So-Called Compromise
Gov. Wolf proposed a new “compromise” on pensions and the budget last week, according to news reports. Here is what that compromise includes: A defined contribution plan for new…
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New Contract, Still no Transparency
The newest state contract with AFSCME—the union representing more than 30,000 state workers—was signed earlier this week. The contract was agreed to in April, then ratified by…
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Silly Talk with Gov. Wolf
Gov. Tom Wolf appeared on Radio Smart Talk yesterday morning. He mostly danced around host Scott LaMar's questions—claiming “You don't know what I’ve been supporting” on pension reform, and…
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Public Union Democracy
The Elephant in Gov. Wolf’s Reception Room
A few recent articles and editorials have directed attention to political contributions by gas drillers, while ignoring a far larger and more powerful interest group—government unions. The fact is, political spending…
MediaRead More: The Elephant in Gov. Wolf’s Reception Room
Truth Lacking on ‘Schools That Teach’ Tour
Gov. Wolf’s 'Schools That Teach' public relations tour and statewide ad campaigns supporting him aren’t telling voters the truth about the budget impasse or the governor's tax proposal.
CommentaryRead More: Truth Lacking on ‘Schools That Teach’ Tour
Which States Have the Biggest Tax Increases?
Previously, we blogged on how Gov. Wolf’s tax proposal raises more revenue than the tax proposals in the 49 other states combined. To put this another way, Wolf’s $4.6 billion tax increase is nearly $4 billion more…
MediaRead More: Which States Have the Biggest Tax Increases?
Pay No Attention to Those Tax Increases!
The liberal Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center—an arm of the union-funded Keystone Research Center—has a new claim that Gov. Wolf's “property tax relief” is similiar to that in a bill passed…
MediaRead More: Pay No Attention to Those Tax Increases!