N.C. Policy Watch, an outfit that believes the post office is “amazingly cheap and effective” (no, really, they said that – stop laughing), cranked out another typical knee jerk response to my article documenting where some of our tax dollars went during the economic boom years of 2005-08.
Funny thing is, their response article was posted a few short hours after my original article was posted on our website. Hence the knee jerk. This coming from the group decrying the lack of “thoughtful policy discourse”coming from Civitas.
Seems like virtually every response coming from the reactionaries at Policy Watch follow the same template. First, make wild accusations about the dark and evil intentions of those rascally, “radical” right-wingers.
It seems to especially trouble them that public money helps kids in working poor families see a doctor or go to college ….. the Civitasers don’t want schools to hire any counselors or school nurses to help. ….one major objective of the report (is to) cut off health care for kids and leave schools without enough administrative and support personnel to operate effectively
Go ahead, I dare you to produce a single article Policy Watch has written in response to a Civitas article in which they managed to refrain from such attacks. I guess that’s what passes for “thoughtful policy discourse” in their minds.
Secondly, and most importantly: never, ever actually address the main point of the original article. As I state plainly in my article:
The difficulties of the session underscores a crucial lesson from past behavior: the need for budget writers to examine these past non-essential expenditures and determine the wisdom of such spending given how desperately lawmakers could have used that money to help fill this year’s budget deficit in lieu of imposing job-killing tax increases.
There is always an opportunity cost to every tax dollar spent. An extra dollar spent during the boom years on nonessentials like museums or welcome centers is one less dollar the state will have to preserve teachers, judges, prisons or social services when the next recession comes.
Nowhere does Policy Watch address this primary concern. In their mind, of course, there are no opportunity costs when it comes to government spending. Why engage in long-term budgetary priorities when you can always just raise taxes (again) on those poor saps in the private sector? In fact, they seem quite content that no money was set aside to save teacher jobs – instead tens of millions of tax dollars were spent on such things as:
museums and art programs …. a new storage shed at the zoo and provided vision screening for kids before they start school. Quite an extravagance.
Apparently Policy Watch beleives that museums, storage sheds and Jim Black’s corrupt boondoggle gift to the optometry lobby are more essential than teachers in the classroom.
Furthermore, they insist on ignoring the fact that the spending documented in my article is new, additional spending on the programs during a four-year period, not total spending.
the Civitasers don’t want schools to hire any counselors or school nurses to help.
Local nonprofits could step in, but the Civitas folks want to slash their public support
cut off health care for kids
But they would have actually had to read the article to understand that – something they’re not very concerned with. No, much better to follow their stale knee-jerk reactionary template.
Hmmm, belching out another typical personal smear in just a few hours in response to a piece that included documentation of more than 600 budgeted line items. How thoughtful.