Joseph Coletti

Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies

Posts by Joseph Coletti (page 9)

  • States are constrained by reality, unlike Washington

    This blog, our research updates, and Carolina Journal’s Daily Journal columns all make clear that state policies are grounded in reality, including recent budgets. Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute provides yet more evidence that Washington policies are orthogonal to reality, especially in finances.
    Joseph Coletti, October 23, 2019
  • US soda taxes do little outside Philadelphia

    John Cawley and David Frisvold have become the leading authorities on soda taxes. In their current working paper with David Jones, they compare results in Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle. Philadelphia’s tax “decreased purchases by 27.7 percent,” but the authors “do not find impacts of the taxes in the…
    Joseph Coletti, October 21, 2019
  • What is killing the American Dream?

    Eric Levitz at New York Magazine claims the American Dream is being killed. He blames three policy decisions by which “we let” wages fall, prices climb, and the social contract fail. My colleague Mike Schietzelt raised the primary objection when sharing the article with me, that Levitz defines…
    Joseph Coletti, October 8, 2019
  • The problem with high tax rates and high earners

    California raised taxes on high-income earners in 2012. The higher taxes and a growing economy contributed to the Golden State government’s $21 billion surplus, but the tax windfall was 45% lower than it could have been because people moved and found other ways to reduce their tax bill.
    Joseph Coletti, October 7, 2019
  • Sales Tax Promises

    Scott Sexton at the Winston-Salem Journal raises an important concern about county sales tax promises. Forsyth County commissioners say revenue from a proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase will go to teachers, but under a strange (and correctable) quirk in state law that pertains to such things, county officials can’t…
    Joseph Coletti, October 4, 2019
  • Rediscovering “Darkness at Noon”

    Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon debuted in December 1940 and reverberated through the post-war period, though not with the universal acclaim of George Orwell’s 1984, in part because of its more specific reference to the Soviet Union and Stalin’s show trials. The book itself has a story worth telling.
    Joseph Coletti, October 1, 2019
  • 30 years of spending

    The General Assembly has provided real spending discipline since 2011, in marked contrast to the previous two decades. In the graphs below, we look first at the General Fund, then at total spending, then at the General Fund’s share of total spending. Within each set, we look first at inflation-adjust…
    Joseph Coletti, September 23, 2019
  • Gov. Cooper is wrong about pay gap for teachers and state employees

    Gov. Roy Cooper’s official Twitter account posted earlier today that the budget “pays teachers less than state employees.” Teachers make on average $53,975 per year. State employees earn on average $48,748. The budget provides an average 3.9 percent raise for teachers and an average 2.5 percent raise…
    Joseph Coletti, September 12, 2019