Rob Schofield over at NC Policy Watch recently posted this pitiful tirade about North Carolina's current budget deficit. Being a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan (0-16!), the football reference in the article's title hurt a little bit, but otherwise he demonstrates once again how intellectually bankrupt he is.
As usual, Schofield takes aim at articles produced by those evil-doers over on "right-wing avenue," the Civitas Institute and John Locke Foundation.
the John Locke Foundation issued brief policy reports in which they
concluded, respectively, that a "rising tax burden" and "rampant
spending" were at the heart of our problems.
"General Fund spending rose a dramatic 47 percent over
the last eight years (FY 2001-02 to FY 2008-09). This represents an
increase of nearly $7 billion, and a per capita spending increase of 30
percent (not adjusted for inflation)."
According to Locke:
"As with previous budget crises facing the state of
North Carolina, the shortfall in FY 2009 and the projected shortfall
for FY 2010 are as much the result of rampant spending as of lower than
expected revenue. Revenue volatility is a long-standing problem in
North Carolina given the state's tax structure."
Then we get a dose of Schofield's "reality":
As has been explained at some length on this site on numerous
occasions, both Civitas and Locke are flat out wrong. First of all, for
any supposedly serious policy organization to hold up the absolute growth in state appropriations (without adjusting for inflation and population increases) as "evidence" of "whopping" growth is an absurdity of the highest order
Small problem, Rob. If you actually took the time to read the articles you linked to, you would find that we DID adjust for inflation and population growth. Click the link to my Civitas article. See the big chart? What part of General Fund Spending Per Capita (inflation-adjusted dollars) don't you understand?
Likewise the Locke report. "State government appropriations per person in fiscal year (FY) 2009 were $2,311; more than the $2,248 per person in FY 2000 after adjusting for inflation."
For any supposedly serious policy advocate to ignore clearly identified data contained in the very reports you linked is not only absurd but downright shameful.
Memo to Rob: If you are going to continue to spend most of your time attempting to critique our work, the least you can do is actually read it first.