This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Governor’s Jobs Summit


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 16, 2014 – August 22, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • David Taylor from the PA Manufacturers Association has a Capitol Watch interview with Pennsylvania Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway on the upcoming Governor’s Jobs Summit
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on tough love for Philadelphia city schools

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Lori Sanders of the R Street Institute about Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul the nation’s anti-poverty programs
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on who won the intramural GOP battle between the establishment and the TEA party
  • Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle have a Watchdog Radio Report on the EPA and Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on dirty tricks in the Mississippi GOP run-off election for U.S. Senator

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Tough Love


Would you invest in a business whose product failed 80% of the time?  If so, you might want to contribute money to the City of Philadelphia School District where, according to the Commonwealth Foundation, studies show that percentage of students cannot read or do math at grade level.

In what has become an annual tradition fiscal hysteria is radiating out from the City of Brotherly Love with predictions of dire consequences for the local populace if Harrisburg does not pony up more dollars. The annual crisis seems to swing back and forth between trains and subways will stop running if more money isn’t allocated to mass transit, or schools won’t open without additional funding.

This is the year for schools.

Once again the mismanagement which runs rampant throughout the Philadelphia city school system has resulted in a beginning of the school year budget crunch that has administrators claiming hundreds of teachers will be laid off if the state legislature does not approve a new revenue stream.  Bureaucracies looking for more money always cut first that which will inflict the most pain to gin up a public outcry. That is why teachers, not administrators and support staff, are on the chopping block.

The imminent start of the school year comes as no surprise to anyone, it is as predictable as Philadelphia funding crises, yet the highly paid administration of the school system failed to make the tough budget decisions necessary to begin the new term on time and on financially solid footing.  Instead, they assumed Harrisburg would once again – as it always does – come up with the money for them.

This year’s scheme to fund the failing schools involved levying an additional $2.00 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city.  Philadelphia lawmakers dutifully spun a tale of dire consequences without the new funding and almost managed to get it enacted.  But, the bill hit a bump in the road and the legislature left town for a summer vacation that will last until well after the new school year begins.

After a planned rare August session of the state house fell through, Philadelphia’s city schools were left hanging.  And so the cries of woe rang out from the banks of the Delaware River.  Governor Tom Corbett, facing an uphill re-election battle, rode to the rescue by delivering budgeted state dollars early, thus allowing schools to open on time.

But should the governor have done that?  And should the general assembly approve the cigarette tax?  The other 499 school districts in Pennsylvania all will start the school year on time. They too have faced budget challenges and managed to get the job done without running to Harrisburg for special taxes.  Like a spoiled teenager who constantly wrecks the family car, perhaps the time has come to take the keys away from Philadelphia city schools.

The bottom line is Philadelphia’s city school system does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.  The Commonwealth Foundation reports that revenue in the school district has increased by more than $1 billion since the 2002-2003 school year.  Per pupil spending has jumped 21% in inflation-adjusted dollars during that time frame.  And here is the kicker: enrollment has dropped by 25% while the teaching staff has increased 6%.

Not only has the school district continued its profligate spending, but like most school districts it has resisted the types of structural change needed to bring both fiscal stability and academic success to public education.  Philadelphia’s lawmakers, while extending their hands for more tax dollars universally refuse to back pension reform so the single biggest cost driver can be brought under control.  The city is hostile to charter and cyber charter schools which would provide a pathway out of a failed public school system for many students.

It is now time for some tough love.  So long as Harrisburg is willing to bail them out, Philadelphia city schools will constantly be asking for more money.  The governor and the general assembly should require them to make needed structural reforms before giving them another cent in revenue.  Otherwise, the summertime saga of more money for Philadelphia will continue to be an annual rite.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.) 

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Steelworker Indictments


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 9, 2014 – August 15, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • Lowman Henry talks with Matthew Wagner of Pennsylvanians for Right to Work about new indictments against Ironworkers Local 401 in Philadelphia on intimidation and other charges
  • Joe Geiger has Margie Adelmann of the Harrisburg Jewish Community Center in theCommunity Benefit Spotlight
  • Anna McCauslin has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the upcoming Defending the American Dream Summit

steel worker

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Ron Radosh of PJ Media about the true nature of Hamas
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story behind conservative victories in Michigan and Kansas
  • Eric Boehm and Benjamin Yount have a Watchdog Radio look at the police taking your property
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on the cruel consequences of liberal social policies

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Jonathan Williams Talks Tax Cronyism


Radio Program Schedule for the week of August 2, 2014 – August 8, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • David Taylor has a Capitol Watch interview with Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council about tax cronyism
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on “economic patriotism”

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jason Riley author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed about the failure of government programs to help African-Americans
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on a recent federal district court ruling that spells trouble for Obamacare
  • Eric Boehm talks with Adam Tobias of the Wisconsin Reporter about the impact of illegal immigration on non-border states
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Jedis, DREAMers and Tax Schemers


jediIt could be labeled a Jedi mind trick, or perhaps double speak worthy of a George Orwell novel.  President Obama and the Left have raised to an art form the ability to name a policy initiative the exact opposite of what it actually is, thus making opponents look bad for opposing it.

The “Affordable” Health Care Act which has resulted in higher health care costs; and the proposed “DREAM” Act that supposedly would solve the nation’s immigration crisis, but actually would simply grant amnesty to lawbreakers are but two examples. In recent weeks the president and his minions have been touting “economic patriotism.”

Setting aside the obvious irony of the Obama Administration posing as patriotic, it is safe to assume most Americans would not want to be viewed as unpatriotic.  On the face of it “economic patriotism” would sound like the latest version of a “buy American” campaign, or a push to patronize your local small business.  In actuality it is part of the administration’s effort to demonize corporations for trying to lower their tax burden and maximize profits.

Taken a step further, as individuals we would be viewed as economically unpatriotic if we took our home mortgage deduction, child tax credit or charitable giving deduction because we are depriving the federal treasury of the funds it needs to finance the President’s big government agenda.  So, stop waving that flag and start finding ways to maximize the amount of money you fork over to the IRS every April.

What has set the president’s patriotic heart aflutter is the growing trend of large U.S.-based corporations merging with partners overseas and locating their corporate headquarters in nations with more favorable corporate tax rates, a practice known as corporate inversion.  This is totally legal and what would be expected in a free market system.  But the president has determined that legal or not, it is – in his opinion – wrong.  And, he having a pen and a phone is the final arbiter of all things legal and moral.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew got the debate started by asking congress to outlaw corporate inversion.  In highly inflammatory language he proclaimed corporations “seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their share of taxes while benefiting from the United States without paying a dime.”

That, of course, is absurd.  Both foreign and domestic corporations are subject to the U.S. corporate income tax.  The problem is the United States sports a 35% corporate tax rate, the highest rate among the world’s 34 most industrialized nations. And this gets to the heart of the matter.  Scott Eastman of the Tax Foundation explains: “The U.S. is one of only six developed nations with a ‘worldwide’ tax system that subjects its domestic corporations to double taxation. Income earned by American corporations abroad is taxed once by the nation in which it was earned, and again when the income is back within our borders.”

It is both the structure of American tax policy and the excessively high tax rate that makes it attractive for corporations to headquarter elsewhere.  Consider that Japan is in the process of lowering its corporate tax rate to 25%.  Thus, an American corporation that executes an inversion with a Japanese partner will immediately realize a 10% decrease in its tax obligation simply by virtue of that move alone.

Rather than demonizing American companies that are simply reacting to the nation’s oppressive corporate tax policies the Obama Administration should be working with congress on reforming the system.  Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have been pushing for such comprehensive reform, but as with virtually all GOP initiatives it has been met with a stone wall of opposition from the White House.

In the meantime, recovery from the Great Recession continues to lag as it will until and unless the underlying disincentives for business investment and growth contained within U.S. tax policy are changed.  And no amount of name calling by the president and the treasury secretary will change that fact.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

 

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Kyle Pomerleau Talks Tax Burden


Radio Program Schedule for the week of July 26, 2014 – August 1, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation about the tax burden of U.S. workers
  • Eric Montarti and Josh Eberlyexamine the impact of a recent court ruling on municipal employee residency requirement on the Allegheny Institute Report
  • Anna McCauslin of Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on how the state got into the current pension crisis

Income-Tax-Burden

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Kyle Pomerleau of the Tax Foundation about the tax burden of U.S. workers
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story behind the growing controversy over “economic patriotism”
  • Eric Boehm and Chris Butler have a Watchdog Radio Report on a small peach farmer in Alabama being forced out of business by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on how the current scandals could hasten the abolition of the IRS

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Pension Crisis


Radio Program Schedule for the week of July 19, 2014 – July 25, 2014

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Eric Boehm has news headlines from www.paindependent.com
  • David Taylor hosts a Capitol Watch roundtable discussion on what happens next with public sector pension reform with Kevin Shivers of the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and with State Representative Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland)
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on the immigration crisis

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Jason Fichtner from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University about the failure of the home mortgage interest deduction to spur middle class home ownership
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on conservative wins in run-off races in Alabama and North Carolina
  • Eric Boehm and Benjamin Yount have a Watchdog Radio Report on the impact of illegal immigration on non-border states
  • Col. Frank Ryan, USMC (Ret.) has an American Radio Journal commentary on trickle-up poverty

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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