FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RALEIGH, N.C. – Today Gov. Roy Cooper laid out his determined budget for our state. Unfortunately, it is clear that by determined he means “big government.” The governor’s proposals would grow the government at an unsustainable rate, inevitably walking back the significant progress our state has made.
Cooper’s $25.2 billion budget proposal would add nearly $1.3 billion in new spending over last year – an increase of 5.4 percent.
“Cooper’s plan is Washington-style, big-spending progressivism. It would mark a whopping $4.1 billion increase in the state budget over just five years ago – an alarming increase of 20 percent,” said Civitas Executive Vice President Brian Balfour.
When considering the unsustainability of such taxpayer-funded largesse, Gov. Cooper’s budget flies in the face of wise statecraft. It saddles North Carolinians, both present and future, with irresponsibly high financial obligations for the sake of temporary political expediency.
Balfour continued, “Perhaps most troubling is that $1 billion of Cooper’s proposed new spending would be recurring obligations. His own document warns of a recession in the near future, yet he insists on ratcheting up unsustainable, permanent spending levels.”
Medicaid expansion is the chief policy objective for the governor’s administration. Flooding the already crowded Medicaid system with hundreds of thousands of working age, able-bodied, childless adults is uncompassionate and irresponsible. It would foment a healthcare wealth gap, dividing healthcare access into two groups: the “Haves” and the “Insured but unable to find a doctor.”
Furthermore, “Cooper’s determined plan to expand Medicaid would cost health care providers at least an additional $410 million a year in new taxes – a cost that is sure to be passed on to patients already struggling to pay their rising premiums,” says Balfour.
Lastly, the governor’s $3.9 billion education bond proposal is virtually twice as much as the House and Senate proposals, which comes with at least $1.5 billion in additional interest payments.
The overarching narrative in Governor Cooper’s vision for the state seems to be to keep rich people rich and poor people poor, through the vehicles of higher taxes and government spending.
North Carolinians deserve a budget that respects their freedom and keeps spending at responsible, sustainable levels. Civitas Institute looks forward to a budget that accomplishes both. Unfortunately, Gov. Cooper’s proposal doesn’t even come close.
Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.