The N&O writes another yawner about the state budget, warning – you guessed it – against the state government not spending enough of your money. Here’s the opening ‘graph:
Preparing and adopting North Carolina’s state budget is all about making choices – how much money to raise, who to raise it from and what to spend it on. A conscientious budget seeks to address the most needs at the lowest cost. But those making the decisions must be mindful that aiming too low can have lasting consequences for the state’s well-being.
Where to begin?
First, the underlying premise here is that the “state’s well-being” hinges on more concentration of power in the hands of the ruling class. Funny, I thought we were a society that cherished freedom and that human beings have a right to pursue their happiness (i.e. well-being) in peaceful means that they see fit. In a free society, citizens do not become dependent upon their rulers for their well-being. That the N&O’s editors hold this vision for a dependent, command and obey society is troubling.
Furthermore, this article is only the latest of countless N&O editorials warning that state lawmakers should be “mindful” or cautious when considering slowing the growth rate of the state budget. But how many articles has the N&O published with warnings about being cautious when considering rapid expansion of state government, and thus reducing individual liberty and taking more taxpayer dollars out of the real economy? I certainly can’t recall N&O editors ever saying “Whoa, you may want to be cautious before you double the size of that government program and take more money from hardworking taxpayers.” When it comes to expanding state power, N&O editors think no rate is fast enough.
In addition, the N&O fails to take into account the true state budget, which includes federal dollars sent to Raleigh as well. True state spending is at an all time high, and has more than tripled in the past 40 years – even after adjusting for inflation and population. Indeed, NC’s true state budget has become more and more reliant on federal dollars – which means the state is granting more of its sovereignty to DC.
Lastly, warning about the state budget “aiming too low” is laughable when put in proper context. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the state budget has been exploding in size for decades. Even looking exclusively at the state’s General Fund, we see a long-term spending binge, and that doesn’t even include the billions in unfunded benefits promised to state retirees. Imagine a man who weighed 180 pounds at age 25, but over the next 30 years he embarked in an overeating binge and bloated himself to a morbidly obese 400 pounds. During the last couple of years, however, he managed to trim back to 390. According to N&O logic, he should be cautious about becoming too skinny, and go for extra helpings at Golden Corral to resume his pace of weight gain.