Recently the North Carolina House and Senate leaders announced their agreement on how much they would appropriate in your next state budget.
Remember, in doing this they are exercising their most important power delegated to them by the hard-working taxpayers of our state. Surely exercising the power to tax and spend your hard-earned money is a sacred trust, and they should use prudent judgment.
Consistent with their proven record of enacting fiscally responsible budgets over the last eight years, they have announced a conservative spending increase of 3.45 percent over last year’s budget that totals just over $24 billion. That is $500 million less than the governor proposes to spend.
The revenue projections forecast by the nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division estimates total revenue next year of $24.8 billion. The spending of just over $24 billion does not include the state’s debt service which will come from the state Capital and Infrastructure Fund.
Over the last eight years the conservative budgets produced by Republicans have been balanced and have produced strong fiscal growth, significant increases in K-12 funding including increased teacher pay, building up our rainy day fund from almost nothing to $1.8 billion and funding our employees’ retirement fund.
Recently North Carolina has passed 18 other states in average teacher pay over the last five years, and currently we stand at 29th in the nation for teacher pay, and that is without any consideration for cost-of-living adjustments.
They have done this while at the same time lowering all forms of taxes, eliminating many burdensome regulations and still ending up with revenue surpluses almost every year.
In a recent joint statement, Sen. Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore said, “Responsible Republican budgeting has led to a boom decade for North Carolina. We don’t intend to change the formula that’s balanced our budget, provided revenue surpluses and record savings, lowered taxes for 99 percent of taxpayers, and resulted in more North Carolinians working than at any time in history.”
That is the good news, but there is some bad news!
The bad news is that (and this is my personal prediction) our tax-and-spend liberal governor, Roy Cooper, is going to veto the fiscally prudent budget which the House and Senate will send to him in a few weeks.
He, like everyone else, knows that neither chamber in the General Assembly has a veto-proof majority. So, the likelihood of getting seven Democrats to vote with Republicans to override his veto will be very unlikely.
Gov. Cooper will play politics with your hard-earned money that he wants the General Assembly to spend next year. He has already established himself as Santa Claus with his proposed budget providing 50 “chickens in everyone’s pot,” to paraphrase and update the old Hoover political saying.
He proposes $4 billion in debt to place his Christmas presents under your tree. What he won’t tell you is that your precious grandchildren will have to pay for his spending spree.
He wants 600,000 more — mostly work capable and or single people — on Medicaid, and he has the audacity to say it will produce an economic boom for North Carolina.
He probably felt a thrill move through him when President Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; if you like your policy, you can keep your policy; your health premiums will go down.
Well, how did those promises work out? Let your legislative delegation know what you want them to do when the governor vetoes the budget.
We, the people, should realize that the governor’s tax, spend and borrow policies may result in our children not having a pot to place a chicken in.