Moral Monday Price Tag Grows – Now at $10 Billion

william barber money

Demands Would Increase Taxes by $4,000 Per Family of Four

As more information becomes available about the demands of the “Moral Monday” protestors, and their leaders in the state chapter of the NAACP, the price tag for their wish list grows exponentially.

Estimates now reach an eye-popping $10 billion to pay for the “people’s agenda.” That would mark a whopping 50 percent increase in the state budget. To fund the “Moral Monday” demands would cost every man, woman in child in North Carolina roughly an additional $1,000. That amounts to adding another $4,000 in taxes to the tax bill of each family of four.

As published yesterday, Civitas tallied a partial list of “Moral Monday” demands and arrived at an immediate budget impact of roughly $3 billion. The list was limited largely due to constraints in obtaining data.

Yesterday evening, however, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s office released the draft of a budget amendment that included cost estimates for many of the protesters’ demands. The estimates were put together by legislative staff and as such offers insights previously unavailable to Civitas.  Berger’s office months ago sent a letter to state NAACP head William Barber asking for specific policy recommendations. After Barber responded, Berger asked General Assembly staff members to draft an amendment that would include many of the points addressed in Barber’s letter.

The amendment calculates about $7 billion in annual additional costs to taxpayers. The largest item is $6.8 billion to provide funding for health insurance for all North Carolinians, regardless of immigration status. Included in the 14-point “people’s agenda” laid out by the state NAACP are the demands for “health care for all,” and “NC must provide immigrants with health care.”

Thanks to the additional data provided in the amendment, we can now update the price tag for the Moral Monday protesters’ “agenda” by combining the figures from the amendment with Civitas’ prior research.

How do the protestors propose that all their demands be paid for? They never say.

Berger’s amendment includes a provision suggesting that to fund just $7 billion of their demands, the state would need to increase its corporate income tax from 6 percent to 50.5 percent. Goodbye, job growth.

And recall that the Moral Monday/NAACP demand to raise the minimum wage would cost tens of thousands of jobs, primarily depriving the working poor of opportunity. Such an outrageous price tag and devastating economic consequences reveal just how radical and extreme the “Moral Monday” protesters truly are.

Demand Cost to Taxpayers
Civitas Calculations
Bring NC teachers average salary up to national average $1.05 B in 1st yr.
Repeal 2013 Tax Reform $500 million in 1st year
($2.4 B over 5 years)
Accept Medicaid expansion under Obamacare $3.1 B over ten years
Revoke Unemployment Insurance reform $3.6 B over five years
($405 million in 2014)
Fully fund all programs designed to aid at-risk, disadvantaged students $142 million/yr
Hire special leadership teams of 3-5 experts in each school found “in violation of the Constitution” to reengage young people and their parents in the educational process $7.6 million/yr
Continue to increase the state earned income tax credit $108 million/yr
Construct a monument Honoring African Americans on the grounds $400,000 of the state Capitol $400,000
Double need-based financial aid for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) $39 million/yr
Appropriate $50 million to the N.C. Housing Trust Fund $50 million
Senate Amendment Calculations
Health Care for All North Carolinians, regardless of immigration status $6.8 B/yr
Medicaid Expansion under Obamacare -$14 million
(this is first year net impact, long-term impact will be about $3.1B cost over ten years – see above)
Expand Pre-K program to meet Leandro requirements $173 million/yr
Triple Funding for Office of Minority Health $9.6 million/yr
Establish Department of Human Rights $4.7 million/yr
Double funding for state’s nonprofit minority, community economic development “package” $32 million/yr
Increase funding for worker training and education programs by 50% $360 million/yr
Double affordable housing program $14 million/yr
Equalize per student funding for HBCU students to all other UNC institutions $46 million/yr
Subsidize child care for families on waiting list $225 million/yr
Create Youth Environmental Service Corps $10.8 million/yr
Establish 1898 Wilmington Race Riots and 1979 Greensboro massacre reparations commission $20 million
TOTAL IMPACT $9.98 Billion
This article was posted in Budget & Taxes, Legislative Activity by Brian Balfour on June 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 10, 2014 at 14:29

    You show only the expense side of this and not the Federal tax dollars that would flow back to NC, boosting our economy and creating jobs. You further fail to show the long term benefits of this investment with a higher educated society and reduced dependence on our social safety net. Civitas Institute consistently uses half truths and lies, scapegoating and bigotry in articles such as this one.

  • 2

    John Jun 10, 2014 at 14:54

    Where the hell do you think the federal tax dollars come from?
    It’s ALL expense!

  • 3

    Steve Sanders
    Steve Sanders Jun 10, 2014 at 15:06

    This request looks like a heavily laiden with race based funding! I think I am offended…. Lonnie Webster scapegoating and bigotry in this article is solely on the part of the racist agenda set by the Moral Monday crowd. The longer you keep the people dependant on the government no amount of education will help anyone that just wants to set at home and get a government check and support!

  • 4

    Andrew Jun 10, 2014 at 16:38

    This is a deeply dishonest analysis. The calculation of health care costs is not documented, and makes up the vast majority of the claimed bill. Presumably it does not take into account that tax- and ratepayers already fund health care for the uninsured through emergency room and hospital contracts, but this is not taken into account.

    Also the table “double dips” by accounting for repealing the 2013 tax boondoggle as a “cost” in the same direction as increased spending. That artificially increases the “bottom line” because the increased spending would be based upon the increased revenues.

    Bottom line is that if you exclude the highly-dubious health care cost line item and properly account for fixing the tax gap, it’s all within grasp. If you don’t like it, fine – but that’s a different question.

  • 5

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour Jun 10, 2014 at 16:50

    The calculation of health care costs was performed by General Assembly staff and included in the Berger amendment, which is linked to in the article.

    The added revenue from reversing last year’s tax reform may indeed offset some of the added expense – or it could just go toward funding more of the MM demands that weren’t included here, or be needed to cover Medicaid overruns.

    If you want to claim the demands will only cost on net an additional $9.5 billion, go ahead. Good luck with that.

  • 6

    Andrew Jun 10, 2014 at 17:04

    Yes, I read the Berger Amendment. There is no documentation of how the costs were arrived at, nor of fiscal tradeoffs to existing indigent care provisions. The calculation of the cost of expanding Medicaid is also extremely politically charged, not based on dispassionate analysis.

    The above notwithstanding, it remains dishonest to include revoking the tax “reform” as a cost line item, even if you don’t believe it will be used to fund these priorities, since the other line items are costs to the state budget and that is revenue to the state budget.

  • 7

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour Jun 10, 2014 at 17:08

    Like I said – go ahead with the $9.5 billion if it makes you feel better.

  • 8

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 10, 2014 at 21:34

    Joh, those federal tax dollars are going to go to Washington but by expanding Medicaid billions will return to NC to assist the Walmart, Variety Wholesaler, Fast food industry workers being paid less than half a living wage have affordable health care. Federal funding of expanding Medicaid will boost the NC economy, and create jobs.

  • 9

    Mark Jun 11, 2014 at 7:46

    Barber proves himself to be just another race hustled extortionist. Just like Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton.

    Story is always the same, they show up at businesses and this case the stat legislature, put on staged and organized protests. Then at the first sign of waivering on the part of their victim, the laundry list of demands comes out complete with price tag. These are the same tactics the mafia used to use when they sold businesses “fire insurance”.

  • 10

    Rip Jun 11, 2014 at 10:24

    I got a better idea. Let’s confiscate all the ill-gotten unearned assets of all race hustling bigots and hypocritical economically illiterate Commie parasites like Bully Barber and Lonnie Webster and Andrew here, and put them in our state’s general funding instead. Lying leftard bullies and extortionists are always eager to be “charitable” with OTHER people’s money, especially when that charity involves spreading racist envy and hatred. Let’s take all of theirs instead; it’s not like they’ve earned any of it with their making big shows of righteousness while devouring the livelihoods of the poor and needy.

  • 11

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 11, 2014 at 19:34

    Rip, how about debating the merits of a public policy investing in a healthy society, one that is highly educated, civil, and just?
    How is society benefited with a near majority in poverty, and desperate for food, clothing and shelter? How is society benefitted with the mentally ill untreated of in jail? How is society benefit when major multinational corporations can exploit those seeking employment with less than half a living wage while paying the CEOs multimillion dollar income packages while the worker’s family must rely on taxpayer subsides to survive? How is society benefited by streams, air and politics polluted by corporate greed of dirty industries like Duke Energy or predatory pay day loans?

  • 12

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 12, 2014 at 16:30

    Civitas Institute Why is Rev. Barbara photoshoped in front of those $100 dollar bills? Are you folks trying to appeal the bigots of Republican base? Rev. Barbara is doing an outstanding job of building a grass roots coalition far beyond the boundaries of the NAACP, walk into the Moral Monday protesters and you will find veterans, teachers, doctors, retirees, environmentalist, university professors,farmers, students. Your extreme right wing politics now destroying NC’s New South forward thinking of the last four decades is not going unnoticed. The vast majority of the people of NC do not want a Plutocracy form of government in NC nor a return to the Jim Crow south.

  • 13

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour Jun 12, 2014 at 16:50

    Who is this “Rev. Barbara” you speak of?

  • 14

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 12, 2014 at 19:19

    Congregations Brain, thats the first think you have right, my mistake Rev.Barber. Let me ask you again with the correct spelling of Rev. Barber’s name.

    Civitas Institute Why is Rev. Barber photoshoped in front of those $100 dollar bills? Are you folks trying to appeal the bigots of Republican base? Rev. Barber is doing an outstanding job of building a grass roots coalition far beyond the boundaries of the NAACP, walk into the Moral Monday protesters and you will find veterans, teachers, doctors, retirees, environmentalist, university professors,farmers, students. Your extreme right wing politics now destroying NC’s New South forward thinking of the last four decades is not going unnoticed. The vast majority of the people of NC do not want a Plutocracy form of government in NC nor a return to the Jim Crow south.

  • 15

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour Jun 13, 2014 at 10:56

    What is a “congregations brain”?
    Or were you referring to a congregation of brains? It is unclear.

  • 16

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 13, 2014 at 14:26

    Brian, I see you had rather engage in spelling and grammar critiques rather than addresses issues of morality, justice, cronyism, racism and bigotry on the part of Civitas Institute, smart move on your part Brian. My bad for the spelling and grammar errors but that comes from being a blue collar liberal.

  • 17

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour Jun 13, 2014 at 14:45

    Ding – Ding!
    You finally got something right, Lonnie.
    Aside from poking fun for my own amusement, I prefer not engage with trolls who are nothing more than walking clichés.

  • 18

    TJ Amos
    TJ Amos Jun 18, 2014 at 8:12

    This is the more balanced fiscal impact analysis.

  • 19

    Arleigh Birchler
    Arleigh Birchler Jun 18, 2014 at 10:08

    While I seriously doubt your figures, have you considered that this is the price tag for trying to steal the assets of the people on North Carolina?

  • 20

    Thumper Jun 18, 2014 at 12:54

    Hey Lonnie and TJ Amos, when you volunteer to pay 75% tax on your taxable income to facilitate Rev. Barber’s agenda then I might consider listening to all the hot air that is blowing out of your mouth. But like most moral Monday protestors , when it becomes YOUR money your not so free in spending it.

    Your type of politics have turned the Northern states and California into welfare states. So please move to them and continue stealing oxygen from them.

  • 21

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jun 20, 2014 at 10:10

    Lonnie,It is kind of odd that u bad mouth Duke Energy since they were a big supporter of your idiot President.They love him because they have been able to raise their rates because of the crazies in the EPA.Warren Buffet was a big supporter also.He owns a railroad that is hauling oil from Canada.Odumbo has stopped the pipeline from Canada so he can pay back the second richest Plutocrat in the country by having his railroad haul the oil.Do a little research,Lonnie.

  • 22

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 23, 2014 at 11:05


    “Your type of politics have turned the Northern states and California into welfare states.”

    Like most of what is posted here by conservatives there’s just no factual information to support your claim. Conservative states generally have more citizens on welfare, higher prison population, higher crime, and less educated society. The real welfare queens are the conservative states.

  • 23

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jun 23, 2014 at 16:25

    Lonnie,please don’t quote the New York Times,it makes u look stupid.They have not written one word about Bengazi and how Hillary and Obama did nothing and let 4 heroes die.They did not print anything about the scandal in the IRS targeting conservatives.If you can show me one word that is critical about Democrats in the New York Times u might have a leg to stand on.

  • 24

    YoYoman Jun 23, 2014 at 19:11

    Reading through the comments posted here by what can only be described as far-right loons, reaffirms my position that Civitas is a home for small minded bigots & racists, not to mention the nuts that still believe Obama as a Marxist dictator. Some real crazy stuff.

    PS. We have a Jim Crow south, it just never left us.

  • 25

    Mike Jun 24, 2014 at 15:27

  • 26

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jun 27, 2014 at 8:00

    The Moral Monday coalition shows the extreme failure of conservative policy. Chris hayes did an outstanding job of showcasing the Moral Monday Movement.

  • 27

    mack Jul 02, 2014 at 13:22

    It’s pretty hilarious that someone is attacking the stats that conservative states have more people on welfare by dismissing the source, being the new york times, on a decidedly, ridiculously, partisan propaganda machine. The arguments made by most of the people on this site are ridiculous and not very intelligent.

  • 28

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 02, 2014 at 21:04

    Mack, Thanks for your input. I ‘m a pretty good thinker, not always that good of writer but someone has to challenge the brown shirt BS here. These people lack any moral compass, and want a return to the kind of raw capitalism or feudalism Charles Dickens and Steinbeck wrote about. Where are the informed English majors to kick some ass here?

  • 29

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 04, 2014 at 11:41

    Lonnie,you and your buddy Mack are big on calling people not intelligent because they don’t believe the New York Times.Here are the facts.Eleven states have more people on welfare than they do working.They are Ca.ILL.Ohio,NY,NM,Ky.Me.,Hi.,Ms.,Al.,SC.Only three of these states are conservative.The New York Times lie on anything political.Their biggest lie is they don’t print facts like I just presented.

  • 30

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 04, 2014 at 11:44

    Lonnie,I’am 68 and I wasn’t even born when the robber Barons were around.You need to get your arguments in the right century.

  • 31

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 04, 2014 at 13:16

    Larry, you’re wrong again. You need to be careful on those right wing emails.

    Here are the facts.

    Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
    A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”

  • 32

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 04, 2014 at 13:19

    Larry, history is not limited to the country you live in nor the time you have been alive. To use history as a tool for current decision making, its important to understand the fear diving the events.

  • 33

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 04, 2014 at 13:24

    Lonnie,If Medicaid is not Welfare,what is it?If you get something for nothing,I call it welfare.

  • 34

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 04, 2014 at 14:58

    Larry, Healthcare is a basic human right only the most barbaric societies with hold healthcare to those in need. Prisoners in American prisons get free health care, prisoners of war get free health care, the detainees at GITMO get free health care.
    If your plane crashed in some third world country you would expect the citizens there to get you medical treatment even before they knew they could expect payment for the services.

  • 35

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 04, 2014 at 16:15

    Lonnie,Then I guess a car should be a basic right.They have to be able to go get their free food.Is there anything that is not a basic right.I am all for helping people that can’t help themselves,but able body people that won’t work,are on their own,as far as I’am concerned.Soon we will be out of other peoples money,and then the Civil War will begin.When these people have nothing and we have no more to give,the war will start.I don’t horde but I know people that are.The stores are empty of ammunition,because a lot of people see what’s coming.

  • 36

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 07, 2014 at 10:15

    Larry, What is it you don’t get here?
    We’re talking about low wage workers who work a lot harder jobs than you and often two jobs. We’re talking about underage children. We’re talking about damaged veterans who for various reasons physical and mental are not able to earn a living for their families. We’re talking about young mothers ( who didn’t have an abortion) facing the reality of after paying for transportation, and child care, a job at Burger King is a economic step backwards.

  • 37

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 07, 2014 at 13:18

    Lonnie,Do you know anybody that worked for 15 years with only Sundays off?Do you know anyone who goes into work at 8 a.m.and works until 5pm.without lunch?Leaves work for dinner,comes back at 6p.m.and works until 12.00.Know anyone that worked 7 years without a vacation?I did that,so don’t tell me these people worked harder than me.You sound like Obama,”You didn’t build that.”I don’t remember you or Obama being there on my 15hr.days.When you don’t know someone’s work history,you should keep you mouth shut.

  • 38

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 07, 2014 at 14:28


    Is that work schedule good for family life? Was it worth the demands? Is this the price you expect for a living wage in America? Sound like you needed to be represented by a union in your own business as you were a slave to your business. What’s your point here Larry?

  • 39

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 07, 2014 at 15:12

    Lonnie,the point is I am not a lazy bum that a good majority of the people you whine about are.It seems you disrespect someone that works to get a head but you put people that won’t work on a pedestal.Then you talk about how small business people like me need a union.I was too busy working to beat on pans for a living like you.The leaches of society are winning though.Got to give you that.Its a lot easier to collect that check than work.

  • 40

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 08, 2014 at 9:24


    You’re still letting your bigotry and myths over power your reasoning and logic. Think and reason here, Most of those on assistance are under age children, most able body adults on food stamps work full time. Let me say that again, most of those on assistance are under age children, most able body adults on food stamps work full time.

    The problem in America is economic injustice of under paid workers and the extremely low taxes on those benefiting most from our free market economy.

  • 41

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 08, 2014 at 17:02

    If you break into my house and steal,you would be called a thief and put in jail.If the Democrats steal my money and give it to the same thief then it’s Wealth Redistribution.That’s the why you think it should work,right?Or is that one of the myths you mention over and over?Democrats idea of myths are a normal persons facts.Bigots are a code word for when they are getting their rear ends kicked in a debate.If you say White people are lazy,that’s not a problem.If you say Black people are lazy,you are a Bigot.Democrats don’t do myths,they just flat out lie.

  • 42

    Lonnie Webster
    Lonnie Webster Jul 11, 2014 at 17:39


    Taxes are the price of admission into the society you live in much like insurance.

    I assume you were educated in a public school, which may have failed you on civic and history but you learned enough to be at least financially successful. Highways, ports and water ways paid for with taxpayers created opportunities for delivery of products and services for your business. Public education provided a literate work force for employees for your business. Now its time to pay your fair share in taxes and stop whining.

  • 43

    Larry mcduffie
    Larry mcduffie Jul 11, 2014 at 18:34

    Big talk from somebody that doesn’t pay any taxes.

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