A narrative published Sunday in the Washington Post seeks to redefine the belief that North Carolina’s tax cuts are the model for Washington. But there is more. The piece attempts to shape a narrative that the tax cuts are not that beneficial at all.
Undoubtedly, there are some too who want to push back against the fact that legislative innovation and reform is happening at the state and local level. Because that could spell trouble for the status quo of centralizing power in D.C., and turn out to be a boon for true federalism. Anybody who has been paying attention to our national government for some time, should know that Washington is stuck in a prolonged season of virtually zero reform or innovation. This is punctuated by a massive crippling federal debt, where legislators for too long have been paralyzed to act for the good of the Republic.
One of the problems with the narrative in the Post is that it is largely anecdotal, based off a few interviews. Here’s an example of the dour view:
But as Henry drove through the conservative, rural county he’s called home all his life, he had trouble seeing many benefits of the tax cut. Business was good, but it wasn’t good enough that he could give his 20 workers significant raises.
And there were growing worries that the lost tax revenue — estimated at $3.5 billion this year alone — was beginning to significantly hurt core public services such as schools.
“I don’t know the people who this benefits,” Henry said of the North Carolina tax cut.
Almost makes you want to move from North Carolina, right? A vision of dilapidated buildings and public services emerge with no end in sight.
Furthermore, the story purports to promote a belief that the lack of revenue is money that belongs to the state and not the taxpayer. No mention of the pitfalls of government stimulus and spending contrasted with the importance of using your own earnings to grow the state and economy. There is no mention of the historic revenue in North Carolina, the rainy day fund, or investments made by the General Assembly to increase teacher pay. However, it does mention the recent #1 economic ranking given to North Carolina by Forbes and some of the positive benefits in the state from growth. But overall, this piece neglects to point out the fiscal responsibility in N.C. that really contrasts well with the brokenness that Washington represents so well with its unsustainable spending.
In a story that is largely anecdotal though, perhaps it would have been wise to include some of the stories from all the people who are moving here for opportunity and jobs?
At a deeper level, it’s not only important to support tax cuts for an economic benefit alone. It’s morally imperative that government supports the protection of people’s earnings and resources. And when they do have to collect taxes, hopefully at a minimal level, they are good stewards of those funds. After all, government was instituted in this nation to protect the rights and property of its citizens, and provide them opportunities to flourish unrestrained by a regulatory state. This is something North Carolina has improved upon recently.
It’s important that Washington not only follow the North Carolina model when it comes to tax cuts, but fiscal responsibility too.