Author: Brian Balfour

Bad Bill of the Week: Pork is on the Menu

Bad Bill of the Week: Pork is on the Menu

Wikipedia defines “pork barrel” spending as “the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s district.” Senate Bill 245, Exploration Station/Grassroots Science Funds, is sponsored by Sen. Jane W. Smith (D-Robeson) and fits perfectly into that definition. The bill would appropriate…

Bad Bill of the Week: Minimum Wage = Compulsory Unemployment

Bad Bill of the Week: Minimum Wage = Compulsory Unemployment

The laws of supply and demand can’t be suspended. Someone should tell that to the sponsors of Senate Bill 39, State Minimum Wage/Inflation Increases. Sponsored by Sens. Don Davis (D-Greene), Paul Lowe, Jr. (D-Forsyth) and Angela Bryant (D-Nash), this bill would raise the state’s minimum wage annually according to the…

McCrory’s Budget: Gas Tax Hikes, Billions in New Debt

McCrory’s Budget: Gas Tax Hikes, Billions in New Debt

Gov. Pat McCrory yesterday released his budget proposal for the next biennium. In odd-numbered years like this one, the legislature passes a two-year budget plan, and the following year will make adjustments to the second year of the plan. The total state budget proposed by McCrory just for the first…

Bad Bill of the Week: Corporate Welfare is a Bipartisan Problem

Bad Bill of the Week: Corporate Welfare is a Bipartisan Problem

Proving yet again that corporate welfare is a bipartisan problem, four Republican legislators last week introduced House Bill 117, NC Competes Act. The primary sponsors of the bill are Reps. Susan Martin (R-Wilson), Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg), Jeff Collins (R-Nash) and Bob Steinburg (R-Camden), but to be fair the bill garnered…

Bad Bill of the Week: Corporate Welfare Bonanza

Bad Bill of the Week: Corporate Welfare Bonanza

Politicians love to use their power to dole out favors and privileges to politically-connected special interests. They also love to interfere with the economy, attempting to impose their preferences upon investors and consumers through a hodgepodge of taxpayer handouts and targeted tax breaks. House Bill 89 Omnibus Economic Development Improvements,…

Bad Bill of the Week: Billion Dollar Gas Tax Hike

Bad Bill of the Week: Billion Dollar Gas Tax Hike

Significantly lower gas prices at the pump the last several months have put more money in the pockets of NC motorists. But because of the adjustable portion of the state gas tax, lower gas prices would also mean less money to state government coffers. Apparently, some state legislators can’t accept…

EPA Rules Would Choke NC’s Economy

EPA Rules Would Choke NC’s Economy

Gas prices fell below $2.00 a gallon in much of state this month, providing North Carolinians with some extra cash in their pockets to pay off those Christmas credit card bills. Don’t get used to the extra cash, however. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of implementing…

Waste of the Week: North Carolina Global Transpark

Waste of the Week: North Carolina Global Transpark

Call it North Carolina’s money pit. The North Carolina Global Transpark (GTP) in Kinston describes itself as “a 2,500-acre industrial/airport site situated strategically in Eastern North Carolina.” Located about 30 miles south of Greenville, GTP is a state-subsidized economic development project largely consisting of industrial buildings, airplane hangars and runways.…

EPA Rules to Cost NC Tens of Thousands of Jobs, Drive Up Electricity Costs

EPA Rules to Cost NC Tens of Thousands of Jobs, Drive Up Electricity Costs

New rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposing unprecedented restrictions on electric power plants will drive up energy bills and cost North Carolina tens of thousands of jobs, according to a study conducted by the Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University and released by the Civitas Institute. The study…

Waste of the Week: The Johnston County Express

Waste of the Week: The Johnston County Express

The Fortify 40/440 project is an NC DOT effort to re-build the southern part of the I-40 beltline. Naturally, a major highway construction project like this means lane closures and major traffic jams for commuters. In this case, however, it also means a waste of NC taxpayers’ money. In trying…

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