He hasn't won yet, but should. He should have won before Mohammed Yunus, but certain before Al Gore (who should not have won at all).
North Carolina's political leaders evidently spent $1.2 billion last year planning the state's economy, according to the "Economic Development Inventory" recently released by the General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division. The report outlines the myriad cash awards and legal manipulations used by lawmakers to "stimulate" the economy -- all at taxpayers' expense.
Just as Sarbanes-Oxley was a draconian and overzealous reaction to Enron and Worldcom, so also is Congress gearing up to bailout borrowers and regulate the mortgage industry unnecessarily.
Shame on the Raleigh News & Observer. A headline story on October 30th declared, “South’s schools swell with poor kids” and later stated, “49 percent of the state’s school children live below the poverty line” was irresponsible journalism.
The closest thing in the Carolina mind to manna from heaven is water from the garden hose. People have long thought that since it falls from above, it ought to be cheap and free-flowing. Our fescue needs a drink. We like our cars squeaky clean. Long showers wake us up in the morning. But as soon as a drought hits, we are forced to implement water restrictions, bans and other Soviet-style rationing schemes. Isn't there a better way?
Can state bureaucrats plan and grow the economy better than the market? This question lies at the heart of last week’s special session, which saw the General Assembly approve a new bill that will send tax dollars to existing North Carolina companies meeting specified criteria. The largest recipient of the approved incentive package is expected to be Fayetteville’s Goodyear plant, with as many as five more corporations lining up to receive cash payments.
North Carolinians who are still convinced that targeted incentives like those approved for Goodyear and other corporations are a good idea should start thinking outside the golden begging bowl. I know, I know -- some jobs will be spared by state aid to big tiremakers. But consider what's lost.
As the House and Senate continue their budget negotiations, reports from the General Assembly indicate that House members are proposing a plan that would entail extending the one-fourth cent “temporary” sales tax another two years in exchange for enacting a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Advocates for the state EITC claim it will help offset the high sales tax burden for North Carolina’s working poor. Simple economics, however, suggests otherwise. Our analysis reveals that lowering the sales tax rate would be much better for the working poor than an EITC.
In light of the rapid expansion of long-term state debt and changes in how capital projects are being financed in North Carolina, it is imperative that legislators restore public input on major financing questions. Addressing the state’s increasing reliance on certificates of participation (COPs) is a good place to start.
Both the House and the Senate are currently considering legislation that would overturn the state’s ban on collective bar- gaining for public employee unions. Extending collective bargaining rights to state employees and teachers will cost the state more money, create inflexible labor contracts, and cede decision-making power for setting employment policy from the General Assembly to unions.
The FY2007-09 budget currently being debated by House members includes a proposed 5 percent state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) aimed at providing assistance to North Carolina’s “working poor.” An EITC would reduce tax bills or provide cash payments to low-income families who file income taxes. The payments would be based on a sliding scale: as income increases the payments decrease.
In one of the most intrusive overreaches by government of private property rights since the Kelo decision, the Judiciary I Committee of the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 259) that would outlaw smoking in all workplaces, restaurants, bars and private clubs. Passed last week by a vote of 9-4, the bill is being pushed by Democrat Majority Leader Hugh Holliman (D-Davidson) and is scheduled to be on the floor of the full House on Tuesday. While seemingly altruistic in nature, this bill’s draconian reach would eliminate a property owner’s right to allow a legal activity to take place on his premises.
They said it couldn't happen here. They said we were safe. They said the law was clear. They were wrong. Turns out that under current North Carolina law, the government can take your private property for economic development just like they did in Connecticut under the Kelo case.
As we continue to review the final budget, we, like so many others across the state, are shocked at the special provisions (pork spending) that are included. We found over $150 Million Dollars. This is more than the budgets for many Departments in state government including, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Crime Control and Public Safety, Justice, Cultural Resources, Insurance, Revenue, Secretary of State and the State Treasurer!