In spite of the N&O's word choice noted in Chris' post below, they did run my piece yesterday describing some legislation that would help prevent any more self-induced budget crises in the future. Spending is at the heart of the problem, and controls need to be put in place because state budget makers have proven that they just can't help themselves.
Carolinians the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment limiting the
growth in state spending.
Each of these bills is inspired by what is commonly referred to either as a
Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), or a Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA). The basic
tenet of a TABOR or TPA is to slow the annual growth of state spending to equal
the rate of inflation plus population growth.
What would this mean for North Carolina?
Such a spending restraint applied in North Carolina over the past five years,
for instance, would have returned $5 billion in excess revenue to taxpayers, and
have North Carolina budget makers breathing easy even as other states are
hitting the panic button
Calculations show, in fact, that state spending has outpaced inflation plus
population growth by $9 billion over just the past five years.
You read that last sentence correctly – $9 billion.
Does that sound like a revenue problem to you?