of Public Opinion Research, Inc.
5405 Jonestown Road, Suite #110
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: (717) 671-0776
Fax: (717) 671-1176
2012 Spring Keystone Business Climate Survey
by Lincoln Institute
Total Started Survey: 332
Total Completed Survey: 309 (93.1%)
Section I: Business Climate
1. In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?
2. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?
3. Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?
4. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?
your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?
5. Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?
6. Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?
7. At any point in the PAST SIX MONTHS has your company considered moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?
all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?
|Did move some operations||0.9%||3|
|Considered moving some operations||5.2%||17|
|Considered moving all operations||4.0%||13|
|Moved operations into Pennsylvania||0.0%||0|
|Didn't consider any moves||89.9%||295|
8. Do you foresee at any point in the COMING SIX MONTHS your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?
considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another
|May move all operations||3.4%||11|
|May move some operations||5.8%||19|
|Not considering any moves||90.5%||295|
|May move operations INTO Pennsylvania||0.3%||1|
9. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?
|President Barack Obama||8.9% (29)||89.3% (291)||1.8% (6)||326|
|Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke||19.4% (62)||58.9% (188)||21.6% (69)||319|
|U.S. Senator Pat Toomey||46.9% (152)||23.1% (75)||29.9% (97)||324|
|U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.||11.4% (37)||62.3% (202)||26.2% (85)||324|
|U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner||6.5% (21)||67.9% (220)||25.6% (83)||324|
|Governor Tom Corbett||48.1% (156)||32.4% (105)||19.4% (63)||324|
|Auditor General Jack Wagner||19.2% (62)||15.2% (49)||65.6% (212)||323|
|State Treasurer Rob McCord||13.9% (45)||16.0% (52)||70.1% (227)||324|
10. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?
|United States Senate||4.6% (15)||91.7% (298)||3.7% (12)||325|
|United States House of Representatives||23.6% (77)||71.2% (232)||5.2% (17)||326|
|Pennsylvania Senate||21.9% (71)||55.9% (181)||22.2% (72)||324|
|Pennsylvania House of Representatives||25.6% (83)||53.7% (174)||20.7% (67)||324|
Page: Section II: Issues
1. Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a law that would limit increases in government spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth. For example, if we had three percent inflation and one percent population growth government spending could increase no more than four percent that year. The limit could only be exceeded by a majority of voters in a referendum at election time or by vote of two-thirds of lawmakers in a declared emergency. Generally speaking, would your FAVOR or OPPOSE such a law?
2. As you may know, the Department of Public Welfare funds many programs including Children and Youth Services, cash assistance programs like food stamps and medical assistance benefits to low income recipients and funding to nursing homes. For the first time in Pennsylvania history, Public Welfare is the largest category of spending in the state General Fund Budget with increases totalling more than fifty percent in the last nine years. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that the state should slow the growth of spending in the Department of Public Welfare even if it means some of these programs will receive less funding?
3. Currently, many school districts collect union dues via payroll deductions from the paychecks of teachers and other school district emplyees. Those dues are then transferred to union bank accounts. State legislators in Harrisburg are considering a law that would require unions to collect these membership dues directly instead of relying on school districts and other governmental units to do this. Generally speaking to you FAVOR or OPPOSE this proposed new law?
4. Construction projects funded by public tax dollars in Pennsylvania are subject to the Prevailing Wage law, which essentially requires union level wages be paid on all such projects. Do you believe the commonwealth's system of Prevailing Wages should be kept, or should governmental entities be permitted to bid out such projects and allow market conditions to set labor rates?
|RETAIN PREVAILING WAGE LAW||7.5%||23|
|ALLOW MARKET CONDITIONS TO SET LABOR RATES||91.2%||281|
5. Do you FAVOR or OPPOSE enactment of what is commonly referred to as a Right to Work law, whereby a worker cannot be compelled to join or pay fees to a labor union as a condition of employment?
6. Labor Unions actively work to engage their members in the government/political process. Would you be willing to implement a project in your company that would mobilize your employees on behalf of issues and candidates seeking to improve Pennsylvania's business climate?
7. A number of proposals have been made seeking to reform and/or cut the operating costs of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Which of the following reform proposals would you support: (Check all that apply.)
|MAKING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PART-TIME||38.7%||118|
|LIMITING SESSIONS TO 90 DAYS EACH YEAR||26.9%||82|
|CUTTING THE SIZE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY||54.1%||165|
|ELIMINATING LEGISLATIVE PENSIONS||50.8%||155|
|REQUIRING RECIEPTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES||63.3%||193|
|ALL OF THE ABOVE||45.6%||139|
|NONE OF THE ABOVE||0.3%||1|
• Reduction of Legislative Pensions
• I don"t know enough about the General Assembly.
• Reducing the stipends paid to General Assembly members.
• Our General Assembly is "OUT OF CONTROL".
• Rewrite state and teacher pension plans to make fixed contribution rather than fixed payouts and require a contribution.
• use a minimum no . of persons in sessions
• smaller govt period!!!!!
• My knowledge is too limited to know which is best.
• pension and healthcare based on years in office
• NO LIMO'S
• Automatically adjust pay of legislators to be equivalent to 75% of the average pay of all managers and executives in PA's private sectors.
• WOULD NEED TO LOOK AT IT MORE
• When PA went to a full time legislature in 1956 - it was the beginning of the end. No budget No pay.
• I don't understand why
• An economic bill of rights to hamstring meddling legislation
• We need a more streamlined pro-active legestration.
• The general assembly is there to SERVE THE COMMONWEALTH - not their own self interests.
• BRING POLITICIAN'S HEALTH AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS IN LINE WITH THE WORKING CLASS
• have lower pension the longer in office
• Lower salaries, limits on staffers as well
• Term limits
8. The General Assembly is considering a plan to end the state's liquor store monopoly and place distribution and retail sales of wine and spirits in private hands. Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of privatizing the state's liquor stores?
9. Governor Tom Corbett has again proposed a state budget that contains no increase in taxes and no overall increase in state spending. Which of the following choices most closely reflects your view of the governor's budget:
|STATE SPENDING SHOULD BE CUT FURTHER||58.5%||179|
|KEEPING SPENDING AT LAST YEAR'S LEVEL IS APPROPRIATE||35.6%||109|
|STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INCREASE TAXES AND SPENDING||2.3%||7|
10. Which, if any, of the following categories would you cut in order to balance the state budget: (Check all that apply.)
|ALL OF THE ABOVE||19.1%||58|
|NONE OF THE ABOVE||4.3%||13|
• Prisoners should not get free education/medical care
• State representatives salaries.
• Break the unions!
• Highways you can fix by eliminating Davis Bacon. Does anybody even remember it was to stop the hiring of southern blacks?
• all programs for the people that think everything is free in this country
• state pensions & salaries
• use prisoners for public service and cut their tv and free time in jail
• reduce number of state employees
• cut government offices and legislature
• Unemployment Payments
• state pension plans must be removed social security good enogh for eveybody else
• Every PA department contains waste in number of people and redundancy!
• Cut pensions, health benefits, and expenses of all government employees, cut the waste in the above programs, where is all the gas tax money going?
• all equally
• It is impossible for someone on the outside to recommend spending cuts that make sence. We need someone at the state level to use common sence to do that job without an agenda.
• goverment spending and ther pays
• salaries of officials cut to reflect the reduction in economy
• pay and benifits for all goverment employees inc. officials
• Goverment Salaries
• there are many jobs that welfare recipients could do to earn their welfare checks.
• Make cuts to selected & NO increases to unchecked
• Require negative drug test for receiving welfare
• wasteful programs and redundent programs event at county levels
• The State shouldn't be expected to take care of everyone!
• 5% accross the board
• THE POLITIONS COMPENSATION
• repeal Prevaling Wages-- cost with no benefit
• The price of running the State Government esp retirement benefits
• Costs to operate legislature and government offices, costs to operate courts
• ALL pensions for State Representatives, Senators, and the Governor)
11. A new law has been enacted permitting counties to levy taxes/fees on companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Do you think:
|THE TAX IS NOT HIGH ENOUGH||23.9%||73|
|NO ADDITIONAL TAXES SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEVIED||22.2%||68|
|THE NEW TAX IS ABOUT RIGHT||30.7%||94|
12. In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?
13. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:
• co founder
• office manager
• Office Manager
• Co-owner CFO
• Vice-president of Operations
14. Please feel free to make any additional comments or observations about Pennsylvania's business climate.
|• Businesses in PA struggle daily to keep their margins in the black and out of the red.|
no one should be required to join a union
• Anything taht goes UP must come DOWN. Wages in particular. We base our wages on the going market price for our product. Then at the end of the year we give a bonus. If we have a good year, the bonus reflects that. If we have a bad year the bonus reflect that too. Wages cannot continue to climb or all our U. S. companies will be leaving the U. S.
• we need to keep tax's down to help bring in more business and more employment. we need to cut the size of pa. govt and make it part time. people that vote on rules and laws must read them
• It sucks. No wonder it's a welfare state. I am forced to buy crap frap from China to survive. It would be fair if they were forced to buy my product. I took a 50% cut in sales since last year so I would like to see all working in government take a 50%cut. I'm hoping to move out of the country. Almost anywhere looks better than here even Vietnam.
• Pennsylvania needs to invest more in transportation.
• The economy will take a downturn after the election, no matter who wins. Should Obama be re-elected, he will strengthen his efforts to redistribute wealth. Should another win, he will have to make other corrections which will reverse bad decisions, but will be painful as well. However, in the long term, we must REJECT OBAMA.
• For survey sake we also have factories in Western Pa. The state police DOT officiers are out of control, we surely do not need more of them.
• Our business will be closing this year, in large part due to the unpredictable nature of income / economic conditions.
• Sales dropped 20% in 2009, and been there ever since. The new normal.
• Employer share of unemployment to high for small business
• In our area if the city of Reading could get rid of the freeloaders and drug dealers, the climate would change and perhaps more businesses would be inclined to provide jobs that are not available in our area.
• My opinions are based on the current agricultural climate in PA
• I am tired of hearing about the government cutting spending on things that we need and how we have to make sacrifices. How about the lawmakers take a pay cut for a change. why don't they make some sacrifices themselves and make an example. We are all in this together.
• i FEEL THAT CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME HEALTH INSURANCE AS WE DO AND WELL AS PENSIONS
• DEP is getting out of hand - they make up policies that have the effect of regulations without allowing input & comment by the regulated community.
• Increases in state unemployment payroll tax do not help grow my business.
• my opinion and my opinion only, there are a lot of other factors influencing my answers beyond the state of the general economy. many are management decision results because of the state of our economy, not that its any better as a whole. just trying to make it better for me....
• It is impossible to obtain loans or funding from banks for day to day operations even with property as collateral. School property taxes are way too high and are the most detested tax I must pay. There surely is a better way to fund local schools that is much more equitable for every citizen of PA.
• Welfare reform must be implemented and further cuts are necessary, It is absolutely essential that BIrth control be available and encouraged among young adults. The number of 2nd child out of wedlock-to a different partner than child number one, is outlandishly high! With the autism rate, children requiring subsidies and a greater cost in education, who is paying for it. My employees and my business-employees who are not getting raises and increaased benefits that they deserve~That is Un-American! work so that others may have....To both parties-Get your priorities in order and your head out of the sand.
• Pa. was cited as the least frtendly state for business in the union, what a great thing to be known for.
• Capitalism works! Remove Gov't and Unions from the process and let individuals (with their freedoms) do what they do best - produce jobs and ideas. Also, the Government's systematic removal of religion from this Country destroys the morals of all individuals. Without morals and doing what is right there will be some companies taking advantage of people. Remove the Socialist (Progressive) element from this Country!
• we are not the goverments piggy banks they can raid at choice!
• The teacher pension fund extra make up money should be dropped. My funds also suffered in the last several years and the teachers won't help to replace that money. Why should I have to fund their retirement?
• Business needs all the breaks we can get so we can hire people to help finance this state
• education and pension reforms needed
• do to the very poor acts retired teachers gov employs increases made on small and large buss the acts taken in past 15 + years poor to flat bo bo . The PA Gov will be broke and the pros at the top that never really worked. think to much and do to little or they may hurt them self .
• Drug test for welfare & limit duration on welfare. Welfare has become the norm for some families from generation to generation.
• Gas prices will kill our economy again. All the economical problems started with high gas prices after Katrina. At $2.50 per gallon our economy flourishes. Eliminate all government pensions, have them by the same health insurance as the rest of America does, and have them contribute to their health care as we all do.
• Prevailing Wages should also be reflected with engineering, financial, legal & architectural costs often exceeding the cost of the project. Oppose the education block grant proposal as presented.
• The legislators at both the federal and state level need to cut their budgets, tighten their belts and quit spending money we don't have. Then the business climate would improve.
• MY BUSINESS IS 33 YEARS OLD AND THE CLIMATE IS THE WORST I EVER SEEN !
• According to the Tax Foundation, as reported recently in Investor's Business Daily, Pennsylvania wins the dubious distinction of imposing the heaviest burden on its businesses, with a overall effective rate that's 45% above the national average. That must change. Governor Corbett also promised a School Voucher program, and he needs to follow through. Finally, gambling has to be either restricted or eliminated in PA. It isn't helping our overall economy. It was a bad idea.
• I feel that our Federal Legislators should support a proposal authorizing any entity negotiating with an entity that is exempt from anti-trust regs, that entity should also be exempt from anti-trust regs.
• Governor Corbett needs to send the money back we got from the Federal Government to implement Obamacare. The federal government cannot force a state to force it's citizens to buy insurance under the US Constitution. The Governor should refuse to implement this law based on the Nineth and Tenth Amendments in the Bill of Rights.
• Too much Government intervention and regulations in everything we do!
• Eliminate the unions that work inside the government contracts and have an open market salary with open market retirement privileges. This will eliminate people standing around and collecting a paycheck for doing nothing.
• eliminat prevailing rate laws.Require urine tests for all welfare recipients. Support tax cuts on any energy (fuel).Cut back on DEP and other non common sense departments. Put God and common sense back in our government. Cut social services by requiring people to work and not allow welfare money to buy non esentials.
• TOO regulated and expensive to operate,
• Cut PA spending, but not cut public school money. Get rid of welfare & food stamps for people that can work, but refuse to.
• I HAVE TWO KIDS AT PSU SO MY OPION MAY BE HARD TO UNDERSTAND
• We need a balanced budget. Period. Unemployment compensation should last a shorter period of time. Then it should be paid to an employer who hires someone previously on unemployment to train this person and pay them a fair wage.
• Well thought out survey. Make sure my representative "Sue Helm" receives the results.
• Until we consolodate municipalites and School districts in BEaver County we will continue to pay gov't beauocrats and union lackies to harras business owners to the point of their leaving the state or business field.
• We simply must stop spending
• all representatives and senators should take a pay freeze.
• Drop the 1% suplimental tax in Allegheny County & Philadelphia. The tax drives sales to nearby counties that don't have the additional 1%. Unemployment Comp collected for business owners that can NEVER collect it should be discontinued... Health Insurance premiums are now included as income to business owners but NOT to employees. This was changed in 2010 and should be repealed.
• I BELIEVE THAT UNEMPLOYMENT SHOULD BE REDUCED BY $2.00 PER WEEK UNTIL IT IS REDUCED TO $0.00. THE INDIVIDUAL MAY COLLECT THE FULL AMOUNT EVEN IF HE/SHE FINDS GAINFULL EMPLOYMENT UNTIL EXHAUSTED. UNEMPLOYMENT COULD NOT BE APPLIED FOR AGIAN FOR 2 YEARS FROM END OF LAST CLAIM.
• we are a small family business which delivers heating oil. Price of oil is too high which raises the price of other products & services.
• Programs to help lower/middle class education, grants and funding are needed to be increased aor restored. Health care in PA is a joke, no competition, Small businesses have a break under OBAMA as my business benefited greatly from the tax credits on employee paid benefits but the Incurance providers have no regulation or competetion for better rates.