Cooper Uses Teachers in Latest ‘Made-for-Media Event’ to Pressure NCGOP to Cave to Budget Demands

RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper is again leveraging his bully pulpit,and a helping hand from the press, to pressure Republicans to cave on Medicaid expansion. This time he isn’t embellishing the benefit to veterans, he’s pandering to teachers as if he isn’t the reason they haven’t received their budgeted raises and school construction funds.

Cooper used the event to declare that Republicans must end this impasse by giving him, not only Medicaid expansion, but more spending across the board.

From U.S. News:

“Several previous roundtables have emphasized Cooper’s support for expanding Medicaid, which Republican legislative leaders oppose.

But Cooper also has said the GOP measure didn’t do enough for education salaries and spending, blaming the shortages upon the additional corporate tax reductions in the Republican budget for scaling back some revenues. He heard from educators lamenting the lack of pay increases for veteran teachers in recent years and the lack of funds for classroom materials and textbooks.

“Our current teachers need to feel respected and applauded and affirmed for their work so that they can then inspire future teachers,” Carrie Tulbert, principal of Northview Middle School in Statesville, told Cooper. […]”

It’s understandable if you feel like you’re living in la-la land; the man that refused to sign the budget for giving teacher raises and education funding increases is hosting a pity party for teachers not getting raises and school funds.

Cooper also makes the laughable insinuation that there were funding shortages caused by the Republicans. Mind you, the revenue surplus for the most recent fiscal year was nearly $1 billion, and that’s after giving teacher raises and increasing spending levels overall. The corporate tax cuts he refers to are so minimal in their overall contribution to tax revenues as to be insignificant, especially in the face of his proposed spending levels.

Yet this is the only way Cooper can drive the narrative in his direction, leveraging sympathetic media to paint Republicans as ‘mean-spirited’ bullies standing in the way of teacher’s getting raises and killing old people in the process. All the while it is Cooper taking advantage of the groups he claims to champion in order to implement the Left’s Big Government agenda, as if the representatives of the people of North Carolina in the General Assembly don’t matter.

Cooper accuses Republicans of being intransigent even as he, with out a bit of irony, demands Medicaid expansion or nothing.

“If you’re going to start a negotiation and the other side says, ‘I won’t talk to you until you take your No. 1 issue off the table and out of the equation,’ what kind of negotiation is that?” Cooper asked. “If they don’t want Medicaid expansion in their counteroffer, don’t put Medicaid expansion in your counteroffer. But they have done nothing.”

Well, ‘nothing’ is not exactly the best way to describe what the legislature has done; they formed, deliberated, and passed a duly considered two-year budget approaching $25 billion. That’s the offer, and the governor doesn’t constitutionally get to dictate such budgets include his landmark policy agenda.

The State is now weeks into the new fiscal year, running on last year’s budget guidelines while the new budget is in limbo. At this point it is a battle of who blinks first, and Democrats’ turning up the volume may be an indication that patience is wearing thin.

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