While the House budget looks bad and Berger and Stam’s position that cutting taxes on the wealthy is more important than providing services is worse, neither comes close in absurdity to the latest from Raleigh’s leading free market fundamentalist think tank, a document released Tuesday called the “Freedom Budget”
The bizarre proposal not only ends the temporary tax increases, it cuts the state corporate tax rate too. It slashes funding for teacher assistants, dramatically increases tuition at UNC campuses, effectively abolishes Smart Start, ends the program to help poor schools, abolishes the Housing Trust Fund, cuts health care programs for children, you get the idea.
Fitzsimon goes on to admonish free-marketeers for their concern about tax hikes. So perhaps we should explain why (again): When you remove money from a market economy for the pet projects of a bureaucracy, that’s less money available for economic growth. Of course, NCPW’s soak-the-rich-for-said-pet-projects outlook is clear from the above. But for every dollar that is pulled from citizens’ hands, that’s a dollar than can’t be directed toward philanthropy, investment, or other pursuits that actually contribute to economic expansion and improved communities. NCPW and liberal minds in general just (congenitally) can’t seem to grasp that government growth is zero-sum, while markets are positive sum. (I know which side I’d like my money to be on.) Thus, the Locke Foundation is not so much preoccupied with greed as they are knowledgable about basic economics, i.e. avoiding dead-weight loss and other negative consequences of government expansion. Nevermind that people are getting fed up with Utopians who claim to know better about what should be done with their money than they are. Fitzsimon’s post should be called: "We’d rather crowd out everything."
It is more of a Freedom from reality budget than a serious proposal, but it does allow Stam and Berger to seem more rational, with their disingenuous claim that increased state spending is somehow irresponsible, despite exploding enrollments at public schools, community colleges and universities, and the skyrocketing cost of health care.
If we can get past NCPW’s rhetoric and on to the substance of the Freedom Budget as well as to the counterclaims about public schools and skyrocketing healthcare costs, we can point directly at the "progressives" in office for our state’s plight in these areas. We get perennial NOs from the Left on vouchers, educator accountability, and competition for schools–all of which would result in both cost-savings and increased quality. We get NOs on efforts to deregulated and reform the horrible shambles that is state-monopoly/third-party/mandate-riddled healthcare. And we continue to expand so-called "entitlement" programs despite vaults of evidence for deleterious effects to the economy and for people’s increased dependency on the state. So, Chris. We agree: let’s have this conversation.
– Max Borders