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Young Philly Politics
Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago
By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State
Working families in Pennsylvania pay a far higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the state’s wealthiest earners, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
Pennsylvania’s tax system scored so poorly that it made the list of the “Terrible 10” most regressive tax states in the nation.
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) co-released the report, Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, with ITEP. PBPC Director Sharon Ward made the point in a press release that "No one would deliberately design a tax system where low-income working families pay the greatest share of their income in taxes, but that is exactly the type of upside-down tax system we have in Pennsylvania.”
Middle-income families in Pennsylvania pay more than double the share of their income in taxes than the very wealthiest Pennsylvanians, while low-income families pay nearly three times as much as top earners, the report found. Get more details on the report, including a Pennsylvania fact sheet, here.
The report should bury once and for all the myth of the makers vs. the takers. Low-income families in Pennsylvania are paying much more of their income in state and local taxes than the top 1%.
Because the response to our workshop on January 14 exceeded our expectations, we are doing it again!
Making A Difference!
How You Can Strengthen Democracy in Philadelphia
Come to this non-partisan training; learn how you can win one of these positions. Help strengthen women’s voices in our political process and protect the right to vote!
HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013
HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
When: Monday, February 4, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 pm
Where: Community College of Philadelphia
Winnet Student Life Building
Lecture Hall S2-3
17th Street b/w Spring Garden and Callowhill Streets
Philadelphia Pa 19130
Stephanie Singer, City Commissioner
Running for committeeperson is a very easy entry point into electoral politics. You don’t need to raise money; you just need the time and willingness to talk to your neighbors. Running for committeeperson is a way to learn grassroots organizing skills, gain leadership experience, and learn how the political system works.
Running for Election board is an opportunity to ensure that we have fair elections. The Voter ID law, which is slated to be implemented in 2013, has drawn attention to what has been a very low profile position—the Judge of Elections. In each division, the Judge of Elections resolves disputes and makes determinations about voter eligibility in areas where the law is ambiguous. With the enactment of the Voter ID law, the position of Judge of Elections has become much more important. The Majority and Minority inspectors also play an important role in ensuring fair, well-run elections.
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and West Philadelphia Coalition of Neighborhoods and Businesses.
By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State
There's a good deal of crowing in conservative circles this week about the new 2012 numbers on union membership. Union membership nationally fell by about 400,000, to 14.4 million. Union membership in Pennsylvania declined 45,000, including 59,000 in the private sector.
Of course, for anyone who cares about, say, the American Dream, democracy, and rising living standards, the newest numbers are bad news. A simple chart put together by the Center for American Progress shows that unions are vital to the middle class. As unions have weakened, so has the share of income going to middle-income workers — and the gap between the 1% and the 99% has mushroomed.
From Marc Stier at Large
Barack Obama is back in office and moving in a liberal direction. So now it’s time to think ahead about building progressive power. The most important thing we can do in Pennsylvania is to replace Tom Corbett as Governor. So it’s a little surprising to me is that, with all the talk about this candidate or that, the one Pennsylvania politician who is best placed to defeat Governor Corbett, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, is not being asked by everyone to run. The main reason, I suspect, is that most people who pay close attention to politics don’t think she will do so. And some folks, for the usual reasons, have trouble getting their head around the idea of a woman as Governor.
I have no inside knowledge about whether Congresswoman Schwartz is considering a race. But I strongly believe that she should run. After explaining why, I’ll come back to the issue of whether she will or not.
By Michael Wood, Third and State
Federal health care reform is moving forward thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year — and it is a great deal for Pennsylvania. Unless the state decides to “opt out,” Medicaid coverage will be expanded to include many Pennsylvanians who are uninsured.
One group that will benefit immediately are parents with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level ($25,390 for a family of three). The benefits don’t end there: others who don’t receive health coverage through their work will be able to buy insurance on a competitive health marketplace or exchange — making coverage more affordable.
However, if Governor Corbett prevents the Medicaid expansion, it will create a coverage gap for families between 46% and 100% of poverty, as the chart below shows (click on it for a larger view).
Those families between 46% and 100% of poverty earn too much to qualify for Medicaid (for a family of three, this means earning over $8,781 but less than the federal poverty line of $19,090). These families won’t receive Medicaid coverage, and they won’t receive subsidies to buy health coverage.
We all benefit when more people have health coverage. Let’s make the right decision in Pennsylvania and expand Medicaid coverage.