Governor Cooper Renews Push to Saddle Taxpayers with Billions of Bond Debt

RALEIGH – You know when you get those credit card or home equity loan advertisements telling you that you can afford to borrow $XXXX for this one time rate? After thinking, “Wow; that much, huh?” most of us waste no time in placing that junk mail in the trash. After all, just because someone’s willing to make you a debtor because they think ‘you can afford it’ doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for your family and finances.

Governor Roy Cooper, though; he and other politicians would sign up and max out every credit card that hit their mailbox if they used the same logic as they do to argue the State of North Carolina should borrow billions to fund spending.

From the Progressive Pulse, touting Cooper’s renewed push for taking the state into more debt.

“Gov. Roy Cooper is again pushing a statewide bond referendum for school construction and renovation following good financial news this week from the Debt Affordability Advisory Committee.

The committee reported that the state can afford to borrow up to $11 billion over the next 10 years.

In addition to $2 billion for K-12 schools, Cooper’s $3.9 billion spending proposal includes $500 million each for community colleges and UNC System schools, $800 million for local water and sewer projects and $100 million for the N.C. History Museum and the N.C. Zoo. Click here to see the bond proposal.

Cooper also proposed a $3.9 billion bond referendum last summer.

“We must build schools to get our children out of trailers and reduce class sizes, and a bond now at extremely low interest rates is affordable and necessary,” Cooper said in a statement. “Our state is growing at a remarkable pace, and we should let the people vote on a bond that would help us keep up with the demands of that growth.” […]”

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The key difference between Cooper’s own credit card and a State Bond? Cooper would have to pay off those credit cards with his own money; the billions in bond debt is saddled on the North Carolina taxpayers now and into the future.

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That’s why a statewide referendum on such debt is required, and why voters who think the government should live within their means just like the rest of us — especially when its our money they’re spending — should let lawmakers know that putting taxpayers on the hook for more spending when we’ve had years of repeat budget surpluses and alternative funding possibilities is hardly a solution. Instead, it’s part of the misguided thinking that put the state in such a bad fiscal situation just a decade ago.

The debt proposals would cost North Carolina taxpayers an extra $1 billion (in addition to how much is borrowed) in interest payments alone over the term of the bonds. North Carolina Senator Harry Brown, long a critic of using such debt to fund spending, filed bills that would use money the state already collects in annual revenues to help fund a decade of school construction. Yet that idea was too fiscally sound to gain adequate support, apparently.

So instead, after a decade of cleaning up a runaway spending habit and paying down most of the debt, Roy Cooper and Co. are pleading with you to let them take out credit card in your name. Just this one time. It’s such a good opportunity. So good I want to use your money for it. Trust us.

Don’t fall for it! tell Governor Cooper and anyone with the same craving to throw that invitation for debt right in the trash. We have a balanced budget requirement in North Carolina to protect taxpayers. Efforts to exploit ‘lowest interest rates’ and ‘affordable debt’ at the expense of taxpayers are the antithesis of sound fiscal governance.

Currently, the PER CITIZEN share of North Carolina existing debt is already above $4,600. Imagine what that number is when the debt liability is divided among actual taxpayers of the state. Does adding to this debt load sound ‘affordable and necessary’ to you, when we have revenue surpluses more often than not these days?

If more bonds do make it onto the ballot, make sure your friends and family know just what they are voting for when they select yes on such a referendum. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and it’s a shame when those people serving the citizens of their districts and the State of North Carolina push that notion for the sake of ribbon-cutting ceremonies and campaign trail talking points.

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