The economy, and jobs, was the centerpiece of President Obama’s State of the Union address last week, unfortunately not in the way many would have hoped.
Over the last dozen years, state lawmakers in Raleigh have increasingly relied upon targeted tax breaks and handouts under the guise of “economic development.”
What causes poverty? That's what North Carolina's "Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery Commission" -- which met again last week -- claims to be investigating. Specifically, the law that created the commission declares "an understanding of the causes and effects of poverty are critical in the reduction of poverty and economic recovery."
Why does Golden LEAF exist? This question is not poised in a legal context. Rather it is meant to discern whether the organization offers any unique benefits to the State of North Carolina.
One major factor clearly contributing to higher health care costs is state-level mandates. These mandates, a requirement by the government, as well as laws and regulations that follow them, prevent people from purchasing health insurance across state lines – a restriction that greatly reduces choice and insurance alternatives.
The 2009-10 budget marks a continuation of North Carolina’s dysfunctional “spend and tax” cycle: when times are good the state dramatically increases spending. When a recession hits, state leaders resort to tax increases – such as the $1.1 billion tax hike approved this year – to continue state spending.
Lincolnton residents face a staggering state and local government true debt burden equivalent to $9,900 for every man, woman and child – or roughly $39,700 for a family of four.
The October announcement that the Dell plant in Forsyth County would close by January 2010 should serve as a reminder about the folly and arrogance of government-created “economic incentives.”
Do people in Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica really get better medical care than Americans do? Is the federal government truly a model of administrative efficiency? Such statements don't pass the giggle test of most rational people, but they have become mantras for "ObamaCare" backers.
In his comments on the Dell deal gone bad in North Carolina, Bob Orr, executive director of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law said, “But this shows the stark and painful folly of the incentives game that state and local governments are playing. No matter how much money you give these large international and national corporations who are headquartered out of state, if it's financially more feasible for them to shut down the operation in North Carolina, they'll do it and never look back."
Policy analyst, Brian Balfour, comments on a News 17 story stating that the federal stimulus money wil hurt North Carolina, not help it. To see the study, click here.
Federal government spending comes with costs; it should not be accepted as the free-lunch it is frequently considered to be. Every dollar the government spends must first be removed from the pocket of the private sector through higher taxes today, or higher borrowing today implying higher taxes tomorrow. A recent study conducted by economic consulting firm Arduin, Laffer & Moore Econometrics shows that North Carolina can expect to lose as many as 67,000 jobs as a result of the federal stimulus package.
NER’s total budget for FY 2009-10 marks a year-over-year decrease of 15% from last year’s actual estimated spending. Buttressed by federal funds of $15 million this year, however, NER’s budget has still climbed 32% in the last five years. And in spite of being in the middle of what we are told is a “budget crisis,” the NER budget allocates over $100 million in questionable items (see below).
At a recent meeting of the Jennette’s Pier Advisory Board, Aquarium Division Director David Griffin offered an update regarding funding for this project. Although our state is currently without a budget, it certainly appears by all accounts that the “Aquarium Satellite Areas Funding” will not face a serious threat of elimination.
If history is any judge, the current tax package soon to be approved by the Governor and General Assembly will harm the state’s ability to recover from the recession and will cost North Carolina jobs in future.