RALEIGH – Earlier this week Republican legislative leaders announced they had reached an agreement on a $23.9 Billion budget, which they will begin tackling in earnest when the General Assembly reconvenes next week.
Then it was Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper’s turn to pretend his authority is bigger than it is and offer his budget recommendations to the legislature.
Cooper’s budget would spend $600 million more than the legislature’s (which already boosts spending by almost a billion dollars), and cancel scheduled tax cuts for corporations and high-income individuals.
The governor explained that because of the GOP tax cuts, North Carolinians “don’t need” the extra tax cuts from the state. That’s easy for him to say.
Individual income tax rates are slated to fall from 5.499 percent to 5.25 percent next year, but Cooper wants to withhold that cut from those earning more than $200,000 a year. In other words, thousands of small-business owners in communities across the Old North State don’t deserve to keep more of their own cash, as far as Cooper is concerned.
In revealing his budget recommendations, Cooper said that he believes it’s more important to spend money on education, health care and workforce training programs, rather than on “massive income tax breaks for corporations and wealthy people.”
The tax increases on high earners and businesses, according to the Cooper Fanboys at the Raleigh News & Observer, is Cooper putting “his money where his mouth is.”
Except it isn’t his money, is it?
This marks a clear difference between the (supposed) governing philosophies of the Republicans and Democrats. The Left thinks this is the State’s money, and you’re just a greedy S.O.B if you have the gall to want to keep more of it.
Putting more of OUR money where HIS mouth is, Cooper’s budget jacks up teacher pay with an eight percent raise and boosts state employee pay by the larger of two percent, or $1250 ($390 million); $60 million for state-sponsored workforce training programs; $184 increase to the UNC System budget; $20 million for environmental conservation and affordable housing; and, $32.5 million to restart the film subsidies program after next year, among other big ticket items.
Cooper terms these spending line items as “investments”, just like all Big Government Leftists do.
The good news is that, in reality, the governor doesn’t really have much power in the budgeting process beyond making suggestions. And with a super-majority in the legislature, Cooper’s suggestions are likely to be shrugged off even if he vetoes their budget legislation. Just like last year, he will be overridden.
Overall the budget satisfies Cooper’s real purpose – scoring political points. His focus on education and outbidding the Republican lawmakers on teacher raises (8 percent vs 6 percent) conveniently coincides with next weeks massive teacher walkout and protest.
Cooper referenced the planned teacher protests in his press conference, saying, “”North Carolina must treat educators like the professionals they are. They shouldn’t have to take to the streets.”
Now we know that many of those teachers very well may be “professional” protesters, getting paid by shady Radical Leftist groups to berate the Republican lawmakers.
As the real budgeting process begins with those who actually have a constitutional warrant to the purse strings, we’ll bring you the latest on how your tax dollars are being spent.