Today’s N&O published my article on the recently-introduced Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) legislation. A sample:
The case for legal restraints on state spending in North Carolina is urgent. A review of the 30-year period from fiscal years 1979 to 2009, for instance, shows that North Carolina’s state budget – even after adjusting for inflation – more than tripled in the 30 years preceding the current recession. Moreover, inflation-adjusted state spending grew at more than three times the pace of population growth during that time.
The cost of state government to North Carolina households has risen much faster than the overall cost of living. The overall price level – as measured by the Consumer Price Index – increased by 165 percent from 1981 to 2011. By comparison, the cost of state government to the average North Carolina taxpayer has grown exponentially faster. Per capita state spending grew by 265 percent in that time span – a pace 100 percentage points higher than the overall cost of living.
As a point/counterpoint, the N&O also published big-government, status quo apologist NC Budget & Tax Center’s response to a TABOR. The BTC article includes the laughable claim that NC’s state government spending is at a 40-year low, and includes the well-worn fear-mongering hyperbole about the sky falling if politicians aren’t empowered to spend a limitless amount of our money.
And, as predictable as a one seed beating a sixteen seed in the NCAA basketball tournament, BTC trots out their false assertions about Colorado’s experience with a TABOR, and curiously including dire warnings about roads and bridges which would be unaffected by a TABOR because they are funded from the Highway Trust Fund and Highway Fund and not by the General Fund that would be limited by a TABOR. On the Colorado claims, I exposed the misleading assertions two years ago in this article.