The Monday protesters were back again, and this time they’re even more wrong than they were the last time.
Last year many of the reforms planned by the General Assembly hadn’t yet taken effect. When the protesters reviled them as disastrous and cruel, there was at least a theoretical chance they would be proven right. But they were proven wrong. Let’s look at some of the ways.
Last year and on Monday, speakers claimed the legislature’s plans would bring economic calamity. Monday, NAACP head William Barber mocked Gov. Pat McCrory’s statement that “we had a heck of a year” by saying, “It wasn’t a heck of a year, it was a hell of a year!” He added, “It’s not a Carolina Comeback, it’s a Carolina Setback!”
Wrong. Since the General Assembly cut off the extended federal unemployment benefits, the jobless rate has plunged. As Civitas Policy Director Brian Balfour (and others) pointed out in a press conference before today’s show, since the changes in unemployment — which basically just took the state back to where it was — the unemployment rate has fallen for 10 straight months. It was then one of the highest in the nation; now it’s below the national average.
Monday, a refrain was that the tax cuts were Republican giveaways for the rich.
Wrong. Tax cuts began in 2011, when the sales tax was cut — providing cuts for everyone in the state. The 2013 tax reforms broadly cut taxes; in fact, some wealthy people wound up paying more in taxes.
The immediate take is beside the point anyway. Taken together, the reforms have already made NC more attractive to businesses. That’s surely a factor propelling the growth in the economy.
Monday protesters said last year and Monday that the refusal to accept Medicaid extension under Obamacare is imperiling the health of North Carolinians.
Some of the speakers said that Medicaid at least keeps people from showing up at the emergency room.
Wrong. Now it turns out that Medicaid patients use the emergency room more.
Monday and last year protesters said the new legislative majority, who happen to be Republicans, hurt North Carolina. Referring to GOP leaders, Barber thundered, “You made it worse than it was before you got here.”
Wrong. Or least, if NC was worse off it was when its unemployment rate was above the national average. Or worse than it was when the Democrats and Progressives fostered racial segregation. Or worse than when the state Eugenics Board sterilized thousands of people.
Monday, liberal activist Bob Hall said the new voter reforms such as voter ID had kept people from the polls.
Wrong. Here he had to tell outright lies. He railed against the voter ID requirement, which doesn’t even go into effect until 2016. As for suppressing the vote — another favorite Monday wail — this year the primary vote increased compared to the voting in the most comparable year, the 2010 voting, also a midterm election.