Today's Char-O ran my letter to the editor countering the false premise that our state's budget deficit is merely a result of a revenue problem:
The Observer's editorial implies that North Carolina's massive budget deficit
is due to a “revenue system (that) just doesn't work.”
The real blame lies on the flip side of that coin: state spending.
The state budget has exploded by 52 percent in the last eight years. Even
after adjusting for inflation, spending per person has doubled in the last 25
The state's revenue system seemed to work just fine from 2001 to 2007. State
tax collections rose by 47 percent compared to a 37 percent growth in the
Let's not lose sight of the real reason for the budget deficit. Until
spending is reeled in, budget deficits will be unavoidable no matter how
lawmakers tinker with the tax system.