There's a fascinating column in the Times today, one that explores the growing momentum in California: reinvestment in higher ed, infrastructure planning, etc., etc. And it's all because the Governor Jerry Brown pushed through a significant tax increase on the wealthiest Californians. They now have a $5 billion surplus. Three times more people are coming into the state than leaving. You get the picture.
So what's the lesson for Pat McCrory? There is no lesson. Pat McCrory is a hapless lapdog of Art Pope, the erstwhile emperor who has no clothes. Unlike Governor Brown, who is proving the value of a progressive tax system, Art Pope is blinded by his passion to cut taxes and deregulate. Millions of hard working people in North Carolina are suffering while a few thousand laugh all the way to the bank. If I believed in hell, I'd be reserving a special place for Mr. Pope.
There is much bad news today, and it's easy to get distracted by whatever specific catastrophe is coming our way. The bigger picture is even worse, as observed in this editorial in the New York Times. It seems the all our elected officials believe they are doing good, no matter how insane or destructive their actions.
In large part, there's nothing we can do about the bigger picture. Our only course of action lies in working to avoid individual specific catastrophes. Find whatever good candidates you can find to support, and work like hell to help them win.
The GOP ploy to pay starter-teachers more than seasoned veterans has triggered outrage in public education, and rightly so. It is an irresponsible and shameless effort to divide and conquer. It also represents the false choice of rewarding the richest North Carolinians at the expense of everyone else.
McCrory's recently announced pay increase (for some teachers) can't fix this. There's simply not enough money in the coffers to properly fund public education.
What are the odds of Republicans reversing course and reinstating a progressive tax code in North Carolina? They are non-existent. No matter how much happy talk we hear, the budget bed has already been made. We're in for a nightmare.
You'll be hearing a lot of happy talk about unemployment falling. Don't believe it. If you want to know the truth, just ask your friends and neighbors who are unable to find work.
North Carolina’s unemployment picture is much worse than it appears on the surface, according to new numbers released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security today. Although the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in December, this is due almost entirely to a historic collapse in the state’s labor force, not to genuine gains in employment.
Alternate title: What a difference a year makes [cross-posted from BackwardNC]
As we celebrate a new year, with all the reflections and predictions, BackwardNC offers our own prediction for the next year and beyond. This isn't one of those "here's what might happen" sort of things; this is just documentation of what already was planned by the NC GOP with their tax increase.
(In the home of Ned & Cora Average (NC Average), in [insert your favorite county here] ).
Ned: Hey, Cora, have you noticed? I'm takin' home 11 bucks more in my paycheck every week! Our boys [insert GOP state representatives/senators names here] are doin' OK by us!
As the year winds down, people begin to focus on accomplishments and legacy. I see four major "accomplishments" of the North Carolina Republican Party.
The Great Tax Increase of 2014. They'll spin and they'll blather about a monumental tax cut, but the truth will out. The so-called GOP Tax Reform is the biggest tax increase on working families in history. Fail.
The Insult Our Woman Act of 2013. McCrory said "none" when asked about future restrictions on abortion, and then he signed this legislation into law. No amount of happy-talk will change this reality. It will be the end of his political career.
The Keep Poor People Poor Initiative of 2014. Two pivotal decisions involving Medicaid and unemployment benefits will be on full display next year, costing North Carolina taxpayers billions of dollars. There's no way to put lipstick on this pig.
The No Jobs Act of 2013. Republican policies have put North Carolina at the bottom of the barrel in job creation, at a time when the rest of the country is moving forward. And their only trick - corporate bribery - is losing steam in the face of teacher retention problems, eliminating environmental protections, and good old-fashioned corruption.
Look for Art Pope's Multimillion Dollar Opinion Manufacturing Machine to shift into high gear over the next month. Whenever you see their propaganda on these issues, do two things. First, report it here. And second, respond with a letter to the editor or a comment online to set the record straight.
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