Eric is a reporter for and former bureau chief for Pennsylvania Independent. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enjoys great weather and low taxes while writing about state governments, pensions, labor issues and economic/civil liberty. Previously, he worked for more than three years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, covering Pennsylvania state politics and occasionally sneaking across the border to Delaware to buy six-packs of beer. He has also lived (in order of desirability) in Brussels, Belgium, Pennsburg, Pa., Fairfield, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and elsewhere. He received a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in 2009, but he refuses to hang on his wall until his student loans are fully paid off sometime in the mid-2020s. When he steps away from the computer, he enjoys drinking craft beers in classy bars, cheering for an eclectic mix of favorite sports teams (mostly based in Philadelphia) and traveling to new places.

Starting Wednesday, Obamacare will punish businesses who help employees with health care

By   /  July 1, 2015  /  Federal Government, Health Care, Issues, National, News  /  No Comments


Employers who reimburse their workers for health care costs will face massive tax penalties beginning Wednesday.

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Nanny State of the Week: L.A. plans to jail unlicensed street vendors

By   /  June 29, 2015  /  California, Jobs + Growth, Local Government, Local News, Nanny State of the Week, News  /  No Comments

Shutterstock image

Los Angeles is planning to crack down on street vendors, as the nanny state strikes another blow against the poor.

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Watchdog Podcast: Busy week for SCOTUS and controversy over the Confederate flag

By   /  June 26, 2015  /  Federal Government, First Amendment, Issues, Judiciary, National, Podcast, State Government, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments


On this week’s podcast: a busy week at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled Thursday in favor of upholding the federal health insurance exchange and Friday in favor of same-sex marriage.

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Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes

By   /  June 26, 2015  /  Finances, Issues, Local Government, Local News, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Pensions, State Government  /  No Comments

Image via Wiki Commons

Even as it was careening towards bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, okayed $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.

Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers, and they were handed out without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released this week.

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King v Burwell could leave many states in a health care bind

By   /  June 25, 2015  /  Federal Government, Health Care, Issues, National, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo from Wiki Commons

When the Supreme Court reaches a decision in the King v. Burwell case, which could come any day now, the 34 states that use the federal exchange may be forced to either set up state exchanges or lose their health care subsidies entirely. A ruling for the plaintiffs would put at stake over $1.7 billion per month in subsidies to over 6.3 million people.

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Watchdog Podcast: The Fraudcast — Fraud really is all around us, at least in government

By   /  June 22, 2015  /  Fraud, Podcast, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments


This week’s top three “frauds of the week” include $1 million in bogus tax refunds going to the Ukraine, massive Medicaid fraud in Louisiana and Social Security payments that continued for years and years after an elderly woman died.

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