In terms of job creation, state government is growing much faster than the state’s private economy.
Education, jobs and good government are the values legislators claim have guided their work this past session and will guide their work after the next election. If we look more closely at what the Democrat majorities in the House and the Senate have actually done these past two years, it becomes clear that things are not what they seem.
Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, the federal government has encouraged improvement in reading and math curriculums by holding states accountable for their public schools' performance. Since the federal government began holding states answerable for their progress there has been an outcry of debate from the states arguing that their tests are unfair. Critics claim the tests are not geared towards individual students of every state and that there should be minimal federal control over state education. Based on dismal gaps between state and federal testing results, one thing remains clear: some states' schools continue to fail in their fundamental mandate to teach children to read, write and solve basic math problems. The real question is — are these concerns rooted in solid principle or are the states crying foul because they are afraid of the accountability testing holds?
It has been a little over 10 years since the North Carolina State House of Representatives had conservative leadership. Very few of us remember anything about what happened during that first long session, but one bill has made an impact on many North Carolinians . The Parental Notification Act of 1995 (I), sponsored by 63 conservative House members, requires that at least one parent or guardian provide written consent before an abortion can be performed on an un-emancipated minor (or a court order under special circumstances). Prior to 1995, physicians performing abortions had the discretion to obtain consent or not.
"His statement is misguided and incorrect." -John D. Wright, Jr. M.D. (pediatric ophthalmologist in a letter to the News & Observer, Jan., 26, 2006, responding to Jim Black’s assertion that the new comprehensive eye exams prevent learning disabilities) "I usually trust my pediatrician to tell me if there’s a problem or not. That’s what they’re there for." -North Carolina parent "I own a hair salon and think all kids should get a haircut before they start school -- so where do I send my campaign contribution to Jim Black?" -Anonymous to the Charlotte Observer Jan. 27, 2006
Just in the last five years, over $527 million earmarked for roads has been diverted from the Highway Trust Fund. Now we are faced with a tax increase of $74 million — with claims it is needed to pay for roads. Our state’s leadership has wasted the road money. They have spent it on pet projects, such as airline recruitment, ferries, a teapot museum and the Global Transpark. If they had used the $527 million for roads, as promised, a tax increase would not be necessary. How can we believe that this new tax money will even go for roads?
August 2005 DecisionMaker Poll
As budget discussions continue and excuses for raising taxes by more than $1 billion are advanced, the Civitas Institute will continue to examine priorities in government spending, and will be asking the question: Should taxes be raised for …?
The Governor, the Senate and the House have each come up with their proposals for our state budget. The Senate budget is $56 Million larger than Easley's; the House version is $3 Million more than the Senate and over $1 Billion larger than last year’s budget. Spending just keeps going up, where will it end?
North Carolinians may have thought that North Carolina’s “death tax” had been repealed in 1998. But the North Carolina General Assembly has proven that Benjamin Franklin was right about “death and taxes.” Rather than being repealed, North Carolina’s death tax is costing its citizens $117 million a year. Governor Easley’s Recommended Budget projects $138 million in death taxes. The budget bill (SB 622) recently passed by the Senate would raise another $30 million in death taxes, rather than let the provision expire.
This is a particularly dangerous time of year. The General Assembly begins its process of adjusting the Governor’s budget proposal, determining where the money is going to come from and how it will be spent for the next two years. They’ll be introducing new programs, expanding existing programs, starting programs to duplicate programs we already have and looking for a lot more money. The budget that just passed the Senate is $56 million larger than Easley's spending recommendation and $One Billion larger than last year’s budget. Here we go on the tax and spend merry go round yet again.