Will Corbett Support His Commissions’ Recommended Tax Increases?

This weekend we learned that Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale commission, despite its lopsided representation from the natural gas industry, will apparently be recommending some form of tax fee on fracking in addition to the odious practice of forced pooling. Here’s Angela Couloumbis and Laura Olson at the Inquirer: Gov. Corbett’s advisory panel on drilling in [...]

Bernie O’Hare Is Not a Smart Man…

Bernie keeps saying that relatively high property taxes cause poverty. This is incorrect. He’s mistaking correlation for causation, and then drawing the causal lines the wrong way. It’s especially frustrating to have to correct this, because he really does know better. A few months ago Bernie and I were at the same brown bag lunch [...]

It’s a Revenue Problem

The conservative talking point “We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem” is meant to preempt this basic fact about the deficit, as a way to rule tax increases out of hand. But it’s a lie.

Where’s the Growth?

Low marginal tax rates correlate with weak growth: That’s not an argument that higher rates lead to stronger growth, but it does put the lie to the conservative dogma that low marginal rates increase revenue by boosting growth. They do not. As former Reagan staffer Bruce Bartlett is constantly pointing out, “the truth is that [...]

Where’s the Growth?

It’s the 10 year anniversary of the Bush tax cuts, so where’s the growth? Republicans sold the tax cuts as a plan to increase long-term economic growth, but there’s no results to show for it besides a bigger deficit and stagnant wages. Is this a 20 year project? A 30 year project? Come on. It [...]

The Unfair Tax

Since there seems to be some appetite for tax changes in Harrisburg, it seems inevitable that some rightwingers will come out with a Fair Tax proposal. So it’s worth pointing out what a terrible idea that would be. This is a chart about federal tax changes, but the impact would be similar at the state [...]

Minimum Pricing for Alcohol

Read this Keith Humphreys post before you read this post I wrote over at Keystone Politics: Last fall I wrote in some detail about “minimum pricing” of alcohol, an innovative approach to reducing high-risk drinking. At the time, minimum pricing was attracting support from a number of public health and public safety experts in the [...]