If you had to suddenly cut 5 percent from your family’s budget, how would you do it? I suspect most people would include the term “priorities” somewhere in their answers. Because of overzealous spending commitments and overly optimistic revenue projections, North Carolina is facing what many are calling a budget crisis. In short, the current state budget spends significantly more money than is available.
With a budget crisis looming, now is the time to place the politically manipulated and highly questionable Golden LEAF under scrutiny. As this article will detail, the funds managed by Golden LEAF are already subject to political whim and under the influence of powerful state lawmakers.
A Series of Recommendations to Fill the Budget Hole Without Raising Taxes or Requiring Across the Board Agency Cuts
Since the 1972 election, after the adoption of the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18, we regularly hear that this will be the year that “young voters” will make the difference. And just as regularly, young voters fail to show up at the polls in the numbers predicted.
We've all heard about the financial crisis facing this country. You'd have to be living in a cave to have missed it. But what about another type of financial crisis emerging in the Old North State?
One of the questions I have repeatedly received from across the state is “who are the conservative candidates for judge?” If you are confused on whom to vote for in judicial elections, you can thank many of your state legislators.
Unaffiliated voters are registering in record numbers, rivaling Democrats in their weekly increase in registration. There are 1.3 million unaffiliated voters – 22 percent of the electorate - and they are increasing more rapidly than Democrats or Republicans. While some counties still have few unaffiliated voters, the unaffiliated registration in other counties surpasses the registration of one party or the other.
Civitas Institute, a Raleigh think tank, has two of its policy analysts, Brian Balfour and Max Borders, tackle the economics behind the bailout.
Balfour discusses his study examining health care trends in North Carolina over the last seven years. From affordability to access, the state of health care in North Carolina has worsened.
Greed. It's a dirty word (a deadly sin, even). Some think only government can protect us from ourselves. But this view is mistaken. Maybe it comes from that helpless reflex-thought: "Somebody should do something about this!" We've all had it -- especially recently. And government, like God, comes into our thoughts almost as second nature whenever we want to explain something inexplicable, or fix something unfixable. But we must stand before our own natures with humility and acknowledge that we, as a species, are greedy.
A compilation of several major health care indicators reveals that state policies designed to improve health care in North Carolina have failed. Health insurance costs are rising more rapidly than the national average, more children lack health coverage and the most vulnerable in our state have less access to care, according to a study recently released by the Civitas Institute.
Many local and state officials claim their hands are tied when it comes to immigration enforcement. “It’s a federal issue,” they say – as if to suggest they would change things if only they could. By contrast, the U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed that as “sovereign entities” states and localities “have the inherent authority to enforce civil and criminal violations of federal immigration law.”
Brian Balfour, Policy Analyst at the Civitas Institute, discusses the staggering tax burden imposed on citizens in North Carolina.
It’s the question every political pundit or newspaper columnist has written or commented about. Everyone has a theory – “If Obama can register this many people or if unaffiliated voters break this way” – on the way to construct the numbers to show Obama can be competitive or win in North Carolina.
The recently completed two-year budget cycle (2007-08) saw very little in the way of transportation reform. Rumor has it 2009 will be the year of transportation reform. Let’s hope so. Currently, the situation is dire.