A self-described "broad and diverse collection of non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations" have banded together to make their plea for an even bigger state government here in North Carolina.
The group, calling itself “Together NC,” appears to be organized and spearheaded by the N.C. Justice Center, a left-wing advocacy group that believes more government is always the answer.
Together NC urges state lawmakers to “maintain and build upon the public investments” in North Carolina. Translation: keep growing state spending because our special interest groups depend on tax dollars.
A cursory look at the list of groups making up the coalition reveals the completely unsurprising conclusion that their primary uniting theme is a desire for more state taxpayer dollars. Most of the Together NC groups rely (at least in part) on government funds for their existence, or lobby on behalf of groups for increased government funds.
The groups in this coalition are scared their funding might be cut, and they want to make sure that you the taxpayer pay the price to support their agendas. Some of the groups involved include: ACORN of North Carolina, Capital Area Friends of Transit, El Pueblo, NARAL of North Carolina and the state employee’s union.
Most disturbing about the coalition’s pleas, however, is the depths they stoop to try to get attention. According to their "Get the Facts" page:
“Spending isn’t the problem. The reality is that spending per person is actually down from eight years ago. This is a fiscally conservative state, and we don’t go on spending sprees.”
The "spending per person is actually down from eight years ago" is an embarrassingly misleading use of data. It is simply unprofessional to cherry-pick this isolated outlier as some sort of "evidence" that state spending is somehow down in North Carolina. A more complete summary of spending trends (as detailed here) reveals the following:
Even after adjusting for inflation, per person budgeted spending in North Carolina is:
- Up 13.2 percent over 5 years
- Up 8 percent over 10 years
- Up 25.7 percent over 15 years
- Up 94 percent over 25 years
Inflation-adjusted, per-person General Fund spending nearly doubled in the last 25 years, but according to Together NC, North Carolina doesn’t “go on spending sprees.” Such claims simply don’t square with reality.
Furthermore, what about North Carolina’s doubling of state debt in just six years (2001-2007)? Even Together NC would be hard pressed to honestly describe such a feat as "fiscally conservative.”
It is trying times that reveal people’s true beliefs, and North Carolina’s left-wing groups are putting their beliefs on full display. In so doing, however, they appear out-of-touch with public sentiment and risk alienating themselves from a vast majority of North Carolinians. According to recent Civitas DecisionMaker polling results:
- 66 percent of voters believe taxes in NC are "too high," compared to only two percent who replied "too low"
- 68 percent of voters believe the General Assembly should “cut existing programs” in order to balance the current budget, compared to only 16 percent that replied “raise taxes”
- 73 percent of voters believe it is more important to cut taxes to help stimulate the economy, compared to just 14 percent who believe it is more important to increase state spending