The far-left N.C. Budget & Tax Center pens this op-ed in today’s News & Observer. Reportedly written with a straight face, the author declares that the cure for what ails North Carolina is another $1.6 billion tax hike. This article would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that many will take it seriously – and the fact that the Budget & Tax Center holds a lot of clout with our state legislators.
Moreover, to refer to the budgeting approach of the last few years as “cuts only” is simply a lie. Does the Budget & Tax Center really expect readers to be so ignorant that they have already forgotten the massive tax hikes imposed upon them in the FY 2010 and 2011 budgets? Or the fact that the state was bailed out by nearly $3 billion in federal “stimulus” funds during that time? And let’s not forget how many state “trust funds”, including the Disaster Relief Fund, and the Rainy Day Fund, were raided to help avoid budget “cuts.”
Cuts only? Please – don’t insult our intelligence.
Furthermore, an underlying assumption is that somehow the level of spending in 2009 was just a modest baseline covering only essential services -and that somehow any reductions to that spending level will take “an enormous toll” on vital “public structures” (read: government programs).
But to understand that assumption, one needs a little perspective. Looking at state spending trends from 1979-2009, we see that the state budget grew at a pace more than three times faster than population – even after adjusting for inflation. State spending had been growing at an out-of-control pace for three decades, there is little wonder why it was so unsustainable once recession hit. But the Budget & Tax Center doesn’t want you to know about that.
Fact is, the recent downturn is merely a minor speed bump in the long-term trends of massive state government expansion. Wanting to take more money from struggling North Carolinians to turn it over to the political class to finance the further expansion of state power pretty much sums up the agenda of the radical left Budget & Tax Center.