We’re all aware of the gloomy economic news. Unemployment in NC is 7.9 percent. Tight credit markets are spawning layoffs and massive contractions in the economy. Last month, in response to the economic downturn, Governor Easley asked state agencies to prepare plans for cutting state spending by 3, 5 and 7 percent.
So much for living in reality. On Tuesday, the Council of State fast-tracked $742 million in bonds for university buildings, prisons and other pet legislative projects such as a polar bear exhibit ($2.7 million) at the N.C. Zoo.
Moving forward with big ticket items in a shaky economy is never good advice for citizens – or governments. Governor Easley says the funding will help construction workers? Maybe minimally. Alleged hort-term fixes most certainly will have adverse long-term effects for taxpayers by further constricting credit markets and adding to public debt at a time when many taxpayers are out of work or on reduced incomes. All that talk about a tight economy, belt tightening and the need for sacrifice? Don’t expect it to apply to your N.C. state government.